The Township of Esquimalt is doubling down on Saanich’s latest steps to improve cyclist safety along Tillicum Road, but is still determining the best way to do so.
Both Lampson Street and Tillicum Road have proposed designs for new pedestrian, driver and cyclists safety measures.
Esquimalt says it is aiming to fill in the gaps in pedestrian and existing cyclist networks in the municipality and have identified that there are five major sections in which cyclists and pedestrians are at more risk of collision and danger.
This is all part of their Active Transportation Plan (ATP) which passed in council on February 7th.
The two main sections of contention are along Tillicum Road and Lampson Street, however there are two other sections that have been identified as candidates for bike lanes which are along Head Street and on Esquimalt Road, west of Admirals Road.
Esquimalt is calling the design of the proposed bike lanes a, “Quick-Build Cycling Network.”
This is because the quick-build network can be treated as a temporary pilot project, the quick-build model allows for the Township to provide increased safety relatively inexpensively and it allows for Esquimalt to make adjustments to the cycling network as needed.
None of the proposed bike lanes will create the need for the removal of existing infrastructure, changing the layout of the streets for which they’re intended and they won’t impact utilities, drainage or transit.
The project has now entered phase two, which includes public feedback from local residents and businesses.
The ATP also aims to lower the speed limits along all major roads in Esquimalt to 40 km/h and all localized roads to 30 km/h, fill in gaps in the sidewalk network and improve certain intersections to improve accessibility as well as pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety.
As the ATP progresses from stage two, to stage three and then into implementation, Esquimalt’s councillors debated whether to do another public outreach campaign regarding the implementation of the ATP in a council meeting on Monday, December 12th.
“Everybody sitting at this table, part of our individual platforms was implementation of the Active Transportation Plan,” said Councillor Tim Morrison in Monday’s council meeting.
“I guess we can assume that part of the reason why we’re sitting here is because the voters supported that vision in getting that done.”
“I’m fine with doing more public consultation, but it’s just kind of repeating the public consultation that we’ve already done, quite some time ago and it just seems now that we’re delaying implementing something we all promised we’d be doing as a new council,” said Councillor Morrison.
A survey can be filled out online to allow the public another opportunity to share their voice on the matter of how the ATP is implemented.