In what is probably the fastest construction of a bike lane in the city, the new Harbour Rd protected bike lanes are open! We took a ride down there to check them out and see what they felt like to ride.
Construction moved so quickly that getting photos of the construction was difficult, but we were able to get a few just before opening. The speed was helped by this being one of the simplest bike lanes to build as there were no new traffic signals or major curb works.
Once open, the lane was quickly busy, as you can see from Jim Mayer’s photos below. The city has also added a new centreline on parts of the Galloping Goose just south of Harbour Rd.
Now that Harbour Rd is open, the last gap between the existing regional trails and downtown Victoria has been closed, which is a huge accomplishment and one that was nearly unthinkable even five years ago.
Are there things that could change?
Harbour Rd is a fantastic addition, but there a few small things that will likely need addressing at some point.
Poor connections north and south – While the protected bike lane runs from the Galloping Goose to the JSB, the connections north and south are still unprotected bike lanes, which require crossing the street. The logical next step is to extend the protected lane south to Esquimalt Rd and west/north to Tyee Rd to make connections easier.
Separating the Goose & E&N through the JSB – Our regional trails are too busy to be shared comfortably any more, a problem that is getting worse as more people bike as we add more protected bike lanes and trails. Although the addition of the centreline on the Goose across the JSB is good, true separation is needed
With Harbour Rd nearly done, focus turns to the other 2019 project: Vancouver St and connections north and south. There are some signs of construction along the corridor, we’ll bring you some photos next week of that.
The 2020 projects (Kimta, Richardson, Gov’t St North and Haultain) have gone out to design tender but we haven’t heard who won those yet.
Please fill out the Jubilee survey!
The city is engaging on the Jubilee area and what roads people want to see protected bike lanes on. The options include Oak Bay Ave and Fort St, so please head over to our post and fill out the city’s survey!