The Township of Esquimalt is looking into installing protected bike lanes on Lampson Street and portions of Esquimalt Road.
In July 2018, Esquimalt began a comprehensive study of its transportation study, which included several surveys on bike lanes. The surveys identified Lampson Street as one of the most prioritized arteries for bike lanes, according to residents and community members.
On Monday council heard reports from staff looking at several options for bike lanes on both corridors.
The portion of Esquimalt Road would stretch from Lamspon Street up to Canteen Road near the CFB Esquimalt; initial plans suggested condensing the stretch into a shared space between cars and cyclists, with bump-outs for pedestrians.
Councillors questioned why staff hadn’t considered painted or protected bike lanes, to which staff said there might be a significant loss of parking.
“Living in this area I’m actually surprised how little the on-street parking is used,” said Coun. Jacob Helliwell. “I’d be quite in favour of finding ways to put bike lanes in there, because it is quite heavily used by cyclists.”
Coun. Tim Morrison noted that it would be ideal to make the commute to the navy base easier for cyclists.
“I see the value of having that commuter cycling lane all the way up to Canteen Road for both commuter and leisure purposes,” he said. “I think there would be a lot of benefit to having cycling lanes.”
Councillors further suggested having a pedestrian-activated crosswalk somewhere along this strip, as well as better lighting.
The Lampson Street portion explored several options, with most people gravitating to a second option of was having buffered bike lanes on both the north and south side of the street.
The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC) has spoken with Esquimalt on the options, and is happy that separate bike lanes are being considered.
“It’s really needed in the north-south connection, it’s the only major road in Esquimalt with the exception of Colville Road that doesn’t have some sort of bike lane,” said Corey Burger, policy and infrastructure chair at the GVCC. ” It early days yet, but it’s fantastic that council was in favour of moving things forward.”
Township staff now go back to the drawing board with more detailed design options before presenting it to council again in January.