Make Haultain and Richardson truly AAA

Make Haultain and Richardson truly AAA

The City of Victoria is planning new bikeways on Haultain and Richardson and the plans need some work. Neither design is truly All Ages and Abilities. Your voice is important: read on for how the designs fail and what you can say to make them better.

Update: Richardson, along with Haultain and others go to council for final approval on July 2nd. See our newest post for an update and a chance to say yes.

The City of Victoria is planning new neighbourhood bikeways on Haultain and Richardson, as well as protected bike lanes on Kimta and Government St. While the Kimta and Government St plans are good, neither Haultain nor Richardson have designs that are truly All Ages and Abilities. Your voice is important: read on for how the designs fail and what you can say to make them better.

What does a true AAA shared bikeway look like?

Vancouver, a world-leading biking city, defines shared AAA as a street with around 500 cars/day and a car speed of less than 30 km/h. This means you need a lot of traffic calming and diversions every few blocks to keep the numbers of cars down and their speed low.

Vancouver design guidelines for targeting 500 cars/day

Vancouver also says that shared bikeways should be wide enough to comfortably let a bike and a car pass each other:

Vancouver guidelines for width on shared roads

You can read the full City of Vancouver AAA guidelines here (PDF)

Why aren’t Haultain and Richardson AAA?

Haultain has a few problems:

  • Not enough diversion – only a single diverter is planned in the 1.5 km from Cook St to Shelbourne St
  • Adding unsafe traffic circles – in order to control driver speed, the city is proposing traffic circles, which research from Vancouver has found are uncomfortable and unsafe for people on bikes
  • Too narrow for parking on both sides – A few narrow blocks of Haultain are between 8 and 9m wide, too narrow for parking on both sides of the street

You can see the full Haultain design here (PDF)

Richardson’s issues include:

  • Planned advisory bike lanes – an experimental design that has only been built in 2 other places in Canada. Further, the BC Active Transportation Design Guide says that “Advisory bicycle lanes are not an all ages and abilities facility. ” (page D73)
  • Not enough diversion – only 3 diverters in over 2 km of bikeway, including only a partial diverter at Cook St, not enough to reduce car numbers to below 1000 cars/day

You can see the full Richardson design here (PDF)

What should be done?

Both Haultain and Richardson need the following changes:

  • Divert car traffic every two to three blocks (every 250-500m)
  • Remove unsafe and non-AAA designs like traffic circles and advisory bike lanes
  • Design the width of both routes to match City of Vancouver’s standards for parking
  • Add short sections of protected bike lanes if car numbers can’t be reduced enough in some blocks

What about Kimta & Government?

Both of these designs are quite good. They provide protected bike lanes that link the E&N to the Johnson St Bridge along Kimta and north along Government all the way to Hillside.

You can see the Kimta Rd and Government St plans online (PDFs)

What’s happening next?

The City has closed public comment for these projects and will be presenting to council in early 2020. You can add your name to your email list below to be notified when that happens:

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