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More people cycling, more places, more often

Esquimalt launches Active Transportation Plan engagement

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Image: The “infamous” Tillicum Bridge – a strong candidate for cycling infrastructure improvements!

The Township of Esquimalt launched an engagement website https://engagingesquimalt.ca/ and wants to hear feedback about how to improve active transportation in the community.

The engagement portal has a survey, a neat mapping tool to pinpoint your cycling “pain points”, a Q&A section, and last but not least… an opportunity to post and comment on ideas (including yours!).

Take part in Esquimalt’s Active Transportation Plan Engagement

The Active Transportation Plan (ATP) is the key document that guides improvements to cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Read below for more on why the ATP, and your input, is critical to Esquimalt’s biking future.

Esquimalt’s Existing Bike Network

Esquimalt has some bike infrastructure, notably the E&N rail trail as well as bike lanes on Admirals, Craigflower and portions of Esquimalt Road. Only the E&N is considered near All Ages and Abilities infrastructure, as it is an off-street trail but has poor intersections and lacks lights.

In the past 5 years Esquimalt has explored improving Esquimalt Road, Lyall Street and Lampson Street but has stalled on all of these projects, with the one exception being funding provided for design and construction of Lyall St. east of Lampson in draft budget 2021.

The topography of Esquimalt is mixed with flat areas in the Esquimalt Village/Saxe Point areas but also has some challenging hills to navigate in Rockheights and limited crossings of the Gorge waterway at Admirals and Tillicum.

Esquimalt’s Bike Route Map (1995)

Community Members Stand Up for Biking

In March 2021 Esquimalt was proposing to defer funding for Lampson Street for the second year in a row though thanks to a strong outpouring of support for improvements $75,000 has been allocated for design work in draft budget 2021. 

Active Transportation Plan – A Key Building Block for Cycling Improvements

If Esquimalt adopts an ambitious Active Transportation Plan it will provide clarity and certainty for future cycling infrastructure investments. A completed ATP is a precondition for provincial infrastructure grants and removes uncertainty about which route Esquimalt should invest in. Now, more than ever, we need to send a strong signal of support for biking improvements in Esquimalt.

Participating in the Active Transportation Plan Consultation

We need as many people as possible to provide their thoughts to Esquimalt. What should you say? Here’s a short list:

  1. Tell Your Story! Why are safe biking and walking routes important to you! What improvements do you want to see?
  2. Map Your Ride! Use the map tool to identify your routes and trouble spots
  3. Highlight (ATP) Success Factors! For comments, please consider the following:
    1. Accessible: Cycling infrastructure needs to be for All Ages and Abilities (from kids to seniors).
    2. Achievable: There needs to be a clear timeline and budget estimate for how the AAA cycling network can be completed in the near term.

Thanks for doing your part for better cycling, a healthier community and planet! Still “cranked”? Want to learn more or get involved:

  • Sign-up for the Esquimalt Local Committee of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC) email newsletter.
  • Become a member of the GVCC! Advocacy work is powered by volunteers and the support of members! 😊