To be clear, Coun. Carrie Smart’s motion at the meeting on Feb. 27, supported by Couns. Andrew Appleton and Lesley Watson, was modest in the extreme. The motion called for staff to seek input from affected residents for a possible change to the traffic control order to make the Henderson Road bike path full-time, and to prepare the necessary amendments to bring back to council for a final decision.
If council approved those amendments at a subsequent meeting, after what would have no doubt been a fulsome discussion with members of the public, then all that would have been required is changing approximately 25 signs, period. One would be hard-pressed to find a more economical way to increase safety on this busy corridor for cyclists and those walking on the adjacent sidewalks.
The minimal costs would have no impact on current or anticipated projects. Council would simply be implementing a recommendation found in the 2011 Active Transportation Report, a report that was shelved with no meaningful action taken by Oak Bay over the last 12 years.
That Oak Bay does not have safe cycling routes for children, amongst others, to travel safely in our community is simply unacceptable. While our municipal neighbours and the University of Victoria take meaningful action on active transportation, for all the right reasons of climate, health, and safety, Oak Bay lets our community partners down, yet again.
Now, if only some of the Oak Bay councillors invested the same passion and time to providing safe cycling routes that they have demonstrated with regard to protecting deer, we might just get somewhere.