Esquimalt has recently finished their new Active Transportation Network Plan, which promises a complete network of All Ages and Abilities across the municipality, as well as work on the sidewalk and trail intersections. While we applaud this plan, we are asking Council to think bolder. We need faster action to get bikeways built in less than 5 years and we need to build them to an All Ages and Abilities standard first, rather than doing quick builds.
This plan is a key “Big Move” in Esquimalt’s Community Climate Mitigation Plan Draft and with serious forest fires in recent summers and damaging flooding this fall, the importance of bold climate action have never been clearer.
What does the plan do?
The network covers the whole municipality, with a focus on completing the critical link up Tillicum first, and then making the existing bike lane on Esquimalt Rd AAA by adding protection and closing gaps.
Unfortunately, the plan has a misnamed “Quick Build” emphasis – where the definition of quick build is over 5 years, and even with that quick build, wouldn’t provide a full AAA experience on the key two routes.
You can read the full plan here (warning large PDF)
What doesn’t this plan cover?
As this is a network plan, this doesn’t cover things like bike parking in detail, although Esquimalt is doing an off-street parking review this year, which we are keenly following, or the other “E”s – education, encouragement or evaluation. This differs from recently adopted full Active Transportation Plans in Central and North Saanich, or the full one.
What do we recommend?
We support the approval of the plan but recommend Council direct staff to come forward with a faster implementation plan as follows
- Tillicum/Lampson and Esquimalt Roads be built to true AAA standards by the end of 2024
- Complete the short term actions by 2026 (end of the next council term – councils usually plan their strategic plans by this timeline)
- Ultimate Network be done by 2030 (end of council term after that)
How can you help?
Add your comments – send them in to council in a variety of ways:
- Email: Email email@example.com asking them to approve, fund and implement a bold active transportation plan. Email submissions are due by noon on February 7th.
- In-Person: Attend the Council meeting in-person (details to book one of the limited spots is here). You can observe the meeting and there is also an opportunity for public comment.
- By Phone: To provide comments to Council electronically via telephone during a meeting, please contact the Corporate Officer for scheduling at 250-414-7135 by 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting