Oak Bay Wants to Get Moving!
Saturday’s Active Transportation Forum: Walking, Cycling, Transit and Public Spaces was a great success! There were nearly 50 participants, and it was a very engaging, energizing session!
The agenda covered many aspects of active transportation in Oak Bay. We learned about the CRD Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan, Complete Streets and Other Inspirational Ideas, the Oak Bay Master Cycling Plan, Safer Routes for Willows and Monterey Schools, Imaginative Ideas from Other Cities, Imaginative Ideas for Oak Bay, and the New Oak Bay High School as a Community Space.
The audience came with lots of input and ideas to share. These are some of the creative ideas shared after the morning presentations:
Support for recreational cycling (accessibility to Willows and Uplands Parks)
Simple solutions to pedestrian safety and accessibility, such as curb bulges, which narrow the pedestrian crossing, narrows the road which forces cars to slow down.
Traffic calming (i.e. parked cars)
Oak Bay regional access and connection to Lochside Trail by way of the Bowker Creek Greenway
‘No car’ day and associated activities (an idea from Brazil), which could work on Oak Bay Avenue
Runnymeade/Mt. Joy/Central Ave needs improved walking access throughout the area
Oak Bay needs to design pedestrian bulges appropriately
Enforce parking on property
Timed crossing signals
Interrupt vehicle corridors by use of diversions and cut-throughs to facilitate increased cycle traffic
Partner with businesses to supply more bike racks
We spent the afternoon hearing about the Oak Bay High School rebuild project, and the opportunities this will bring to improve pedestrian, cycling, and public spaces in and around the school.
Some ideas that came from the New Oak Bay High School group discussion session are:
Oak Bay High as a Community Hub where the paths and walkways are improved to encourage walking and cycling to and from the school, Recreation Centre, and the Village
Educational Corridor: A cycling/pedestrian only street or trail that connects UVic to Willows School, to Oak Bay High, to Monterey Middle School!
Planning for, and accommodating all modes of travel, including skateboards, and the addition of smaller transit lines, during the construction of the high school, and well into the future
Bowker Creek Greenway should include a pathway that allows cyclists to follow the whole way (no stairs)
Add Community Gardens along Bowker Creek at the high school for students to access or maintain as a learning resource
Widen all sidewalks around schools, and bury power lines, as many power poles are currently in the middle of the sidewalk
As you can see, we had some really inspirational discussion that requires some work to get us moving in Oak Bay! Keep watching here to see how you can contribute, or get involved in the Action Plan. If you have ideas to share, please feel free to comment, or start a discussion on our Forum.
We had some good media coverage by the Times Colonist, as you can see here.