Commuter and recreational cyclist in Victoria.
Victoria is ranked the most bike friendly city in Canada according to CBC. British Columbia is known for its cyclability and culture around cycling (on the roads and off). The ‘Biketoria Project’ by the City Council of Victoria has implemented a 5.4 km grid of bike lanes in the downtown Victoria core. My experience biking downtown has been safe and a wonderful way to experience Victoria. These bike lanes make cycling very accessible and safe especially for tourists and new cyclists. There are traffic lights specifically for bikes and separated bike lanes in the main downtown corridors. However, as a Victoria local this Biketoria Project should be spread farther than the downtown core. These changes must be implemented in the rest of Victoria to be used effectively and benefit the entire community. Connectivity to ensure bike safety should be prioritized in lower income areas, school zones, business/industry parks, and near post secondary institutions as well. Bike lane location should reflect and connect the routes cyclists take daily, not just for tourists and folks living in higher income neighbourhoods. Safety in the city for cyclists should include everyone as best as possible. Main roads, for example Shelbourne Street and Bay Street, connect many elementary and high schools, university and college campuses to neighbourhoods. I think these are important routes to note (as well as many others) since cyclists use these routes to get to and from school, work, and home.
Cycling must-haves in Victoria:
Bike safety tips, resources, events, webinars, and more can be explored on the Greater Victoria Bike to Work organization’s website: https://biketoworkvictoria.ca/resources/ . Knowing the rules of the road to ride safely in traffic is essential for bicycle and vehicle cooperation. Greater Victoria also has intricate and beautiful bicycle and pedestrian pathways. This includes the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, the Lochside Trail, the Colquitz River Trail, the Royal Oak Trail, and more. These can be found on the Greater Victoria Bike to Work website. A map of the Victoria and Central Saanich area can be found with this link: http://biketoworkvictoria.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/saanich-vic.pdf . Stay safe on the roads and explore this beautiful place!