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Colwood’s new OCP is up for approval

Colwood’s new OCP is up for approval

Tonight Colwood council has 3rd and final reading on their new Official Community Plan (OCP) and there is a lot to like – it contains a map with a complete network and many  other pieces for great biking. Unfortunately, the OCP has one small flaw: because it is based on older plans, it unfortunately says that buffered bike lanes are All Ages and Abilities, which we know isn’t true.

What can you do? Send a letter to Colwood Council or attend this evening – 7pm at Colwood Pentecostal Church – 2250 Sooke Road. What should you talk about? How you can’t wait to ride with your family in Colwood, but that you need that little bit more protection to make it happen.

If you want to crib some ideas, here is our letter to Colwood council:

Colwood Council,

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition is excited to see Colwood adopt a new Official Community Plan, especially one that will help advance biking both within Colwood and the region. Including a modal hierarchy and emphasizing connectivity place the new OCP among the most modern and most forward thinking. We do want to note one caution, that of your definition of buffered bike lanes as All Ages and Abilities, something recent research has shown not to be true.

We know that this comes from Colwood’s Transportation Master Plan, with much of that plan’s cycling information taken from the region’s 2011 Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan (PCMP). Unfortunately the PCMP, using the best data of the day, considered both protected and merely buffered bike lanes as Class I. However, since the PCMP was created, research from the US has shown that a buffered bike lane is about half as comfortable as a protected bike lane . On high volume, high speed roads such as Sooke Rd, the difference would be even greater.

We suggest that Colwood simply replace the word “buffered” with “protected” POLICY and Figure 11: Cycling Network.

The GVCC looks forward to working with Colwood as they work towards a better biking future.

Thank you,
Edward Pullman
President, Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition