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More people cycling, more places, more often

Support a lit & separated Goose & Lochside

UPDATE: Approved unanimously by the CRD Board

The CRD has released a report outlining plans to widen the most used and congested sections of the Lochside and Galloping Goose Trails, from Selkirk Trestle to the Mckenzie Interchange on the Goose and Mckenzie Ave by Borden St on Lochside. Lighting will also be added as part of this project.

What does the report say?

Overall, the report is great, and we’re extremely happy to see this proposal come forward. The staff report states:

“The Report recommends, and trail user numbers support, a separated use pathway design that is a 4.0 m dual-direction bicycle path and a 2.5 m adjacent, dual-direction pedestrian path separated by line painting…Hard-wired, LED, pedestrian-scale lighting is also recommended…”

Improving our busy regional trails is essential to getting even more people walking and cycling. This sentiment is strongly reflected in a recent survey of trail users conducted by the CRD. Key suggestions for improvements included:

  • widening the trails or twinning the trails
  • provide additional lighting
  • improve road crossings

You can read the full report here (PDF).

What does a separated trail look like?

We already have a good idea what a separated trail would look like – just south of Selkirk Trestle, the trail there is separated by use. This section is owned by the City of Victoria, so isn’t included in this report.

Galloping Goose south of Selkirk Trestle showing separated walking & biking. Photo credit: John Luton

Compare that with the recommended cross-section below:

Recommended cross section

When might they start construction?

That’s a big unknown, but we hope soon. Your voice can help make that happen. The total costs will be somewhere around $13 million, so this won’t be a cheap project. It is recommended that the project get done in phases, as can be seen on the map below.

Map showing priorities from the report

Concerns with the Report

Our biggest concern comes with one part of the report: It recommends not lighting the section of the Lochside Regional Trail through Swan Lake. This is one of the darkest parts (and busiest) of the urban regional trail network, largely because of lack of adjacent roads or businesses. Our view is that all transportation corridors should be lit, including the full trail network.

Map 5 from the report – shows the recommended lit and unlit sections

The report fails to acknowledge that within 1km of Swan Lake, there are already 39 km of lit road, including major roads such as Hwy 17, Mckenzie Ave and Saanich Rd, plus the major commercial centre at Uptown. Based on that, the amount of new light from a lit trail would be small, compared with the huge benefits

There’s a lot of lit road within 1km of Swan Lake

What do we recommend?

  1. Start designing 1st Priority section (Selkirk to Switch Bridge) immediately, aiming for construction in 2022
  2. Light the entire corridor, including through Swan Lake

Update – Jan 27th

The CRD Parks Committee passed the following motion at the meeting today, aiming for the Feb 10th meeting:

1. That the Regional Trails Widening Study be received for information;

2. That staff be directed to conduct public engagement on the 6.5 m separated use pathway design with lighting and implementation priorities as recommended including consideration of low-intensity lighting in the trail segment adjacent to Swan Lake, aiming for balance between wildlife and public safety considerations;

3. That staff report back to a future committee meeting with further recommendations; and

4. That staff aim to expedite public engagement and detailed design, with a view toward having a shovel ready project.

One part that we are concerned about it was staff’s comments that they may need to defer mountain biking plans or Mt Work plans for expedite this. We support our mountain biking friends and believe that money can be found do both in 2021.

Update – Feb 10th

The CRD Board unanimously approved the plan today, meaning expedited public engagement can being. Money will still need to be found for design and ultimately construction, but the first hurdle has been passed. Stay tuned for more updates from us.

Want to help get regional trails?

If you want to help out keeping this project moving, you can volunteer with our Regional Trails committee below

11 Comments

  1. Notice the drawings do not include bollards is it too much to expect the redesign will not include bollards

    • The Victoria Airport Authority removed the bollards from its Flight Path last year. A wise move since they were an obstacle especially at night without any lighting.

  2. Not in favour of bollards. Existing ones are traps when different users arrive at the same time. But maybe some indication that each direction have two lanes? So cyclists keep right vs in the middle? Happy to be corrected by those who know more about bike traffic behaviour. Thanks

    • The section from Harbour Road to the Selkirk Trestle has a painted centre line, just like roads do. It works pretty well.

  3. Totally support expanding the Goose, especially that area identified. It gets so busy with pedestrians; they really need to have their own space to walk. However, I’m NOT in support of lighting up Swan Lake. Since it’s a Nature Sanctuary, I don’t think it should be lit up.

    • I never thought about this, excellent point. Lets not intrude artificial light in such a natural environment.

      • Originally, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and the Lochside Regional Trail were “open” for access between sunrise and sunset, just like the rest of CRD parks. Trail lighting was not necessary. Perhaps a return to “sunrise-to-sunset” only, would quickly resolve the discusion of trail-llighting near Swan Lake.

  4. Perhaps all the Swan Lake lighting nay-sayers are forgetting that in mid-December (Dec 10-13), sunset is at 4:18 PM. How many of the nay-sayers would feel safe walking this section at 5:30 PM, or send your teen-age daughter there?

    As has happened near Blenkinsop Lake, the wildlife very soon adjusts and accommodates to changes.

  5. While they are upgrading stuff, how about upgrading the decks on the trestles. I like the smoothness of the Blinkinsop Creek trestle (except the raised screwheads are exactly where people cycle – in the middle of their lane).

  6. The trestles that have not been given upgraded surfaces (like the Swan Lake Trestle) need also to be upgraded. The Selkirk Trestle is particularly rough, but so is the Blenkinsop Lake Trestle.

  7. Would also like to see the dedicated trails extended to the Oak Bay area.