Beacon Hill Multiuse Pathway

Beacon Hill Multiuse Pathway

Completed (almost), but at what cost?

By John Heddle

More than 100 years after Velociped races on the horse track in Beacon Hill Park, more bicycles can be expected as the ‘facelift” for the multiuse pathway has been completed, more or less, at a cost of $90,000!

Map of existing and new portions of multiuse pathways in Beacon Hill Park. Image provided by city of Victoria.

Map of existing and new portions of multiuse pathways in Beacon Hill Park. Image provided by city of Victoria.

New signs have been erected and the pathway for bicycles extended down the hill from the roadway past the children’s park to Heywood Avenue at Oliphant, as shown in the plan. This extension was formerly a walking path only but is now a double track, pavement on one side and asphalt on the other, each nice and wide. Another improvement is the removal of a heavy iron gate and posts which made entry a bit tricky even for those on foot and certainly for those with baby carriages or bicycles. Also the signage on Bridgeway has been improved and is excellent, as you can see in the photograph which Sarah Webb, Manager of Sustainable Transportation Planning and Development kindly provided. She likes it and so do I.

This project was created using funds from the CRD in return for their occupation of Clover Point for the waste treatment project on Dallas Road. It is not yet fully completed. According to Ms. Webb, “This project is a part of 32km network of all ages and abilities (AAA) cycling infrastructure. The pathway will be connected across Heywood Avenue and down Oliphant Avenue to the new Vancouver Street AAA route in 2019. It will also be connected via Bridge Way and Circle Drive to the new Dallas Road protected bike lanes in 2020.”

Residents using the new portion of the pathway. Image provided by city of Victoria.

Residents using the new portion of the pathway. Image provided by city of Victoria.

I like what has been done but boggle at the cost. As you can see from the plan, almost all of the pathway has existed for some time but lacked, (and still lacks) the excellent signage that has been placed on Bridge Way. Of course, I am not an expert of such matters, merely an average Joe, but can 100 metre of paving, even as wide as a double car garage, plus a few road markings, removal of a gate, and some signs on pre-existing posts possibly cost so much? What would a 100 metre drive cost at your house?

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