The next phase of the City’s bike network is being considered. Staff are recommending that the next lane be transferred to Vancouver Street instead of Cook Street. (File Photo

City shifts gears on Cook Street bike lanes, Vancouver St. recommended instead

Cook said to be too expensive, to inconvenient to install dedicated lanes

City staff are recommending that Cook Street no longer be considered in the next phase of Victoria’s downtown core bike network. Instead, they say the next north-south, all ages and abilities (AAA) route should run along Vancouver Street.

The change has opponents of the original plan very happy.

“We’re pleased that City staff has recognized the impossibility of the Cook Street proposal, and we hope council will too,” said Save Cook Street Coalition member, Robert McConnell, in an email. “A great deal of staff time and expense has been wasted trying to find ways to do what was obviously impossible from the beginning.”

Cook Street had initially been considered because of its connectivity to village centres, and the gentle topography along the streets. However, after further analysis and a lot of public feedback, City staff realized that the amount of traffic along Cook Street from buses and commuters, along with limited space for a physical barrier for cyclists, would be too expensive and too inconvenient to accommodate.

“Further analysis of Cook Street has revealed significant trade-offs required to maintain traffic performance and cycling safety, at intersections, and especially for vehicle turning movements during peak times,” reads a staff report to be discussed by council at committee of the whole tomorrow (May 24).

RELATED: Cook Street bike lane opposition grows among residents

Vancouver Street has been reassessed as the next option, running from Bay Street toward Dallas Road.

“Vancouver Street represents a more reasonable compromise between safety, cost and traffic performance, when compared to the Cook Street option sets,” states the report.

The largest barrier on Vancouver Street is managing parking spaces, though City staff report that with shared road concepts along certain parts of the roadway, an estimated 30 more spots can be created.

However, McConnell said there are still a few issues the City needs to reconsider in the next phases of their plan, including proposals of construction on Vancouver between Fort Street and Fairfield Road.

“There is plenty of room to convert part of the boulevards to protected bike paths. Instead the staff proposes to use only the existing roadway and add daytime parking, specifically to narrow the roadway and reduce traffic speeds,” he said. “The added risk to motorists and cyclists should be obvious, but apparently it’s not.”

If the Cook Street proposal is shelved, McConnell added, a leg of the Humboldt Street plan destined to end along Pakington Street, should be shelved too.

“It makes no sense to ask cyclists at Humboldt and Vancouver to make a complex and risky uphill S-turn onto Pakington and along a narrow, congested street only to be dumped onto a traffic mixing zone on Cook,” he said.

Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting gets underway at 9 a.m. Depending on the outcome of the discussion, the item could be put forward to a vote by council that evening.

Bike lane concepts for Wharf Street and Humboldt Street are still being discussed, but are presently reported to be 60 per cent complete.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

bike lanesCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID Creations opens at the Art Gallery

Rental and sales exhibition features works by 34 local artists

Daniel Lapp’s West Coast Kitchen Party

Join BC’s highly renowned fiddler and folk artist Daniel Lapp for a… Continue reading

Emily Carr show wraps up Canadian Tour at Royal BC Museum

Fresh Seeing opens with exclusive addition of T’anuu

Antimatter festival adapts

Hybrid model brings 100 films

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

The 2020 City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart will give up her seat for the next young poet in January. (Contributed/ Jeremy Loveday)
Nominations open for Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

Honourary one-year term reserved for region’s emerging poets

Joëlle Rabu and Nico Rhodes present No Regrets, a live-streamed and in-person show featuring the songs of French singer Édith Piaf at the Port Theatre on Oct. 17. (Photo courtesy Vital Image)
Nanaimo mother-son duo pay tribute to Édith Piaf in Nanaimo

Vocalist Joëlle Rabu and pianist and arranger Nico Rhodes present ‘No Regrets’ show Oct. 17

Local poets Ian Cognito and Pat Smekal are releasing their latest collection, ‘Old Bones and Battered Bookends.’ (Photo courtesy Literacy Central Vancouver Island/Image by Jacques Gamelin)
Nanaimo area poets release anthology on aging

Ian Cognito and Pat Smekal present ‘Old Bones and Battered Bookends’

The Arts Alive sculpture Winds of Time by Linda Lindsay which sat in front of the Pharmasave on Oak Bay Avenue in 2019 has been purchased anonymously and will be mounted in the King George Terrace parking lot. (Photo from OakBay.ca)
Winds of Time breezes onto Oak Bay lookout

Donor bought Arts Alive sculpture for Oak Bay lookout

Campbell River author tries out new genre for upcoming trilogy

Kristin Butcher kept her book grounded in real world, with some fantastical elements

Nanaimo psychedelic rock band marks 10th anniversary with new release

Moths and Locusts’ new LP ‘Exoplanets’ includes recordings made over the last 10 years

Most Read