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Colwood council rejects protected bike lanes in redesign of Veterans, Wishart Road

Advocate says physical divider to protect cyclists would have boosted ridership

Colwood council voted narrowly against adding protected bike lanes to stretches of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Wishart Road due for redesign.

At the Oct. 12 council meeting, a redesigned cross-section was approved that will add two lanes to Veterans Memorial Parkway from Latoria Road north to Cairndale Road, and a turning lane at some intersections on Wishart Road between Latoria Road heading north to Metchosin Road.

However, council rejected an amendment to the plan that would have added protected bike lanes on either side.

The design currently has buffered bike lanes, which separate cars from the bike lanes with a strip of painted lines on each side from car traffic.

Corey Burger, policy and infrastructure chair for Capital Bike, wanted cyclists protected with a curb or barrier between the bike lane and other traffic, a move he said would boost ridership.

He found support at the table from Coun. Cynthia Day, who put forward an amendment to add the more significant separation, but the idea was largely rejected by the other councillors.

Coun. Stewart Parkinson said the city should do more studies to look at the city’s overall bike lane strategy before rushing into a decision.

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“Since I’ve been on council, we’ve added bike lanes here, there and everywhere,” he said. “I have to think of a biking system as being sort of like a storm sewer, you start with a small pipe up at the top of the hill where there’s not much water, and you just keep making the pipes bigger and bigger, and yet, we seem to be putting big pipes everywhere in terms of bike lanes.”

Parkinson and Coun. Dean Jantzen said the city’s bike lane strategy could be looked at further when Colwood updates its transportation master plan, either in 2022 or 2023.

Parkinson, Jantzen and Couns. Doug Kobayashi and Michael Baxter all voted against the amendment.

In discussions, Day voiced concern about how the two extra vehicle lanes on Veteran’s would impact traffic.

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In the end, Day was the lone vote against the designs.

The road expansions are split into sections, council heard, with the cost of some of some to be borne by the city and others by developers. City staff said the hope is to have as much of the roadwork covered by private developers as possible.

The projected completion of the roadwork design is scheduled for 2023, with construction to follow in stages.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated changes coming to Wishart Road. A turning lane will be added at some intersections on Wishart Road between Latoria and Metchosin roads. We apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused.


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