Bicycle lanes should not interfere with buses, vehicles or pedestrians. We all need to share the roads. The current designs on Pandora Ave and Fort St need changes.
The original cost estimate for Phase 1 of Biketoria was $7.75 Million and has grown to $14.5 Million. Mayor Helps is quoted as saying that “the original $7.75 Million wasn’t a budget, it was money that was allocated initially.” This despite the fact that the original cost estimate included a generous contingency allowance.
This is another example, like the bridge replacement, of poor fiscal management by initiating projects before the real cost is known.
On Lisa Helps campaign website her blog of September 18 reads “When we began consultation on Fort Street, we assumed” (yes Mayor and Council assumed) that the same engagement process would work on Fort St as it did on Pandora “We didn’t take into account the far higher density of businesses on Fort Street compared to Pandora, and we didn’t consider that businesses on Fort Street would have different needs than businesses on Pandora. And so, looking from the perspective of City Hall, we did the same engagement process on Fort that we did on Pandora and assumed it would be appropriate. But it wasn’t. These were different businesses with different ideas and our consultation process would have been greatly improved if we had recognized that earlier.”
The City of Victoria (taxpayers) is in the process of being sued at the Human Rights Commission by a blind person because of the Pandora Ave dedicated bicycle lanes. BC Transit passengers exit the bus onto a curb, then must cross two bicycle lanes prior to stepping onto the sidewalk. This current design needs to be corrected.
Future expansion of Biketoria should be placed on hold, including the Wharf Street project, until a full review and analysis of how the current bike lanes are working.
As a City Councillor, I will consult with Business owners, Residents, BC Transit, Pedestrians, Taxi Drivers, Delivery Drivers, and Bicyclists before we begin anymore construction.
With a new Mayor and New Council I will place a moratorium on further expansion of bike lanes until proper consultation has taken place. Yes, we will talk to the bicycle experts, but they will not be the only ones we talk to.
With a new Mayor and New Council I will see what can be done to improve the situation on the bike routes that are already in place. Some people have suggested we rip out the bike lanes, but after so much money, let’s not be rash or foolish with your tax dollars. Yet, after a full review of what can be done to improve this situation, all options will be on the table.