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While in Victoria last week I checked out progress on the city’s first on-road protected cycle lanes on Pandora Street. After public consultation last year, stakeholders approved this two-way, $2-million concept on the north side of the road from Cook Street in the west to Store Street/Johnston Street Bridge in the west – about 1.2 kilometres.

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TwoWayConcept

2015 approved concept

 

After a public RFP process last year, the city commissioned Boulevard Transportation to deliver final designs, which are due this spring (Full disclosure: my transportation design team bid on this project and scored second. I’m 100 percent over it. Doing fine.).

The city ran a successful pilot project for this concept last year to test the idea out, both for operational logistics and public engagement. I’m a big fan of pilot projects; and am generally impressed with how the city got its ducks in a row, communicated its impact analyses, and delivered this initiative along a major arterial roadway with a loss of 75 on-street parking spaces. Commercial Drive cycle lane opponents take note: the world did not end and nobody was driven into penury.

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2015 pilot project – temporary lanes

 

At present, Boulevard and the city are working through the details; including what type of physical separation will exist. Two options are:

PlantersSeparation

Planters

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PermanentConcreteSeparation

Raised concrete curbs

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So what progress has been made? Designs are nearly complete. Construction is to start this summer. Ultimately, this stretch east of Blanshard Street will look something like this:
Pandora 1a

facing west toward Quadra Street

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And this:

Pandora 2

Facing east toward Blanshard Street

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Council’s ‘sort of last-minute’ instructions that the cycle lane be “fully protected through intersections” is throwing a little kink in the designs and cost, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. As seen in downtown Vancouver, this means: 1) installing cycle signal heads and 2) replacing and redesigning all signal phases and signal heads to hold right and left turns when cyclists have the green.

It’s only money.