Sooke Area/Cycling/Cultural/Tourism Corridor from Sooke to Port Renfrew

Find below some loose notes/draft regarding improvements along Highway 14 (from Otter Point Rd. (near French Beach) to Port Renfrew — and along Otter Point Road here in Sooke.

The Transportation Ministry has a wonderful opportunity to secure a safe routing here for cycling, cycling tourism and for cultural engagement and one that would not be overly expensive — especially in consideration of the valuable tourism and PR press it would gain for the region and for the BC Gov.

The Basic Suggestion: Support/Encourage a safe cycling/cultural corridor along Otter Point Rd. shoulder and improvements from Sooke to Port Renfrew. There is need for it to designed much safer than it is presently envisioned. Paint shoulder/active transportation lane Green. Put local artists designed bollards in place. Increase road sharing and other bike signage dramatically.

Please send comments directly to the Ministry using this form: https://feedback.engage.gov.bc.ca/815542?lang=en

See for more info: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-14

To encourage cycling what is needed is safe corridors. Not simply a 1950 style shoulder that only confirms the centrality of the car.

Make sure the shoulder is clearly marked as an active transportation lane. Use bollards (designed artistically — specifically for this valuable cycling tourism route) ! This need not be expensive. As an example bollards could be constructed out of used car and truck tires repurposes. If there was sufficient budget and foresight bollards could be designed and built using local talent and resources.

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My intention is to develop a draft proposal to the local Sooke gov/and or the Ministry of Transportation for the development and creation of a safety first comprehensive cycling/cultural/sustainable tourism corridor from Sooke to Port Renfrew — in some ways it is conceived as an extension of the Galloping Goose.

Ideally as well, it would be advisable to create a new environmentally low impact cycling/ pedestrian bridge over the Sooke River from the Sooke River Trail — which would thus create a safe active transport connection to the Galloping Goose. The Galloping Goose is already an extraordinary "active transport" trail that connects eastern Sooke to Victoria and beyond.

I am informed by Don Legault, Operations Manager South Island Vancouver Island District, Ministry of Transportation (personal email of Oct. 16, 2029) that there is currently some developments along Otter Point Road and Highway 14 that could prove of some interest in relationship to my initiative and the confines of the program. From Don Legault:

1. "The work on Otter Point Road, will include paving and widening of the road from Sarah Road almost to Robson Road. This work will include paving of 3.5 metre wide lanes, and widening and paving a 1.0 metre wide shoulder. This shoulder widening is intended to provide room for cyclists and pedestrians to cycle and walk on the shoulders of Otter Point Road. The Ministry does not paint the paved shoulders of their roads, unless it is in a heavily used urban highway interchange area, where motorists are crossing over areas where cyclists can be expected to be travelling." And he further stated that "We have announced a resurfacing project on Hwy 14, that will be starting next year on an 11 km section between Otter Point Road and Woodhaven Road. This work will be starting in 2020 and will include construction of 1.5m paved shoulders along the corridor. These shoulders similar to the shoulders on the rest of the corridor will not be exclusively marked for cyclists but certainly intended for the use of cyclists as well as pedestrians."

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It is of my experience as a bicyclist backed up by numerous transportation studies that it is of extreme importance to be pro-active in designing and implementing transportation strategies to encourage and support active/preferred transportation. It is insufficient, dangerous and counter productive to use methodologies of transportation design that come from past decades that were and are solely or majorly related to automobile transport. As an example — building or extending shoulders to help accommodate active transportation is a laudable gain.

However because of generations and decades of the status-quo of the supremacy of the automobile in transportation policy society has pre-conditioned automobiles drivers to assume that shoulders, or extended shoulders marked by white lines are simply access points for emergency stops or as simply safety extensions of their own lane of traffic — automobiles drivers do not register or recognize the shoulder as a transportation lane for active transportation users such as bike riders, ebike riders, pedestrians, etc. The reality is that automobile drivers often use shoulders as a parking strip.

The Shoulder Zone as usually designed and implemented is the part of a roadway contiguous with the Traffic Zone principally intended for emergency stopping, and/or lateral support of the roadway structure for AUTOMOBILES. That is its main stated purpose and how the vast majority of automobiles drivers understand the purpose of a shoulder. Because of that ingrained premise, because of the car-centric status-quo it is crucial to redesign shoulders so that automobile drives learn to register automatically that the shoulder is not simply an extension of their lane— primarily for the purposes of emergency stopping but that it is in itself a transportation lane for preferred transportation patterns — pedestrians and biking. The goal of my proposal would be to make sure that best or near best practice yet not making it too costly — is implemented for the use and safety of cyclist, cycling tourist and pedestrians. With that goal in mind I suggest that the shoulder be made highly identifiable as an Active Transportation lane (green or red painted).

That bike and pedestrian share the road signs are used frequently. That additional road ingrained signs are especially made for use on the pavement notifying automobiles drivers of the importance of sharing the road (as well as using the road itself as a canvas for cultural, artistic, First Nations, and environmental awareness — see addendum note below.) That way-finding signage, cultural and environmental signage be designed and produced for the corridor for the benefit of active transportation users. Further — that artistically and culturally appropriate bolsters be installed at various points along the route of especially concern to safety experts.

These bolsters designed and built by artists and crafts people from Sooke and the greater CRD as well as community groups and First Nations people along the route would mark the cycling corridor as a dual purpose — as an outdoor art and cultural gallery for the community and as a unique and low cost means to encourage sustainable cycling tourism for the region.

References (draft) It is noted that 37% to 60% of the population do not ride frequently due to concerns about the safety of cycling. They are interested in cycling more, but usually restrict their riding to roads with physically protected facilities or lower motor vehicle volumes and speeds. The ‘interested but concerned’ segment of the population is typically found to be the largest segment of the population in communities of all sizes and contexts. There is a significant opportunity to focus on the needs of this large market segment to achieve a substantial increase in regular bicycle ridership. (BC Active Transportation Design Guidelines) Driver's passing cyclist unsafely or aggressively account for a statistically significant number of fatalities for cyclist.

And as commons sense dictates — a large proportion of crashes occur at intersections and on multilane roads and disproportionately involve large vehicles (please note that the Sooke — Port Renfrew corridor is used frequently by trucks and SUVS), suggesting that when road users compete for space in a crowded road environment, characterized by restricted space, intersecting paths, and reduced visibility, the likelihood of a crash increases. And that “We found only one death in a bicycle lane in the ten-year study period, underscoring the benefit that dedicated road space for bicyclists can promise.” {From: AN OVERVIEW OF CYCLING RESEARCH: Selected Facts, Statistics, Citations and Quotations Compiled by Dr. Chris Cavacuiti, Staff Physician, Department of Family and Community Medicine, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON}

Additional Addendums:

The Dutch Leaders have managed to be extremely successful in instigating a normality for cycling as a viable even preferred transportation option. Cycle pathways are all paved with an easily identified red pavement, an inch-thick top coat of dyed red asphalt. It’s everywhere throughout the Netherlands — you know when you’re on a cycle path. The Dutch design manual on cycling classifies roads depending on the speed of the cars traveling in them. If there’s any major difference in speed, then full separation is required — concrete barriers, a grass median, planter boxes, or bollards. (https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/8/28/17789510/bike-cycling-netherlands-dutch-infrastructure) as well as the dyed red asphalt.

Experimental Roadways For Bikes in the Netherlands https://www.businessinsider.com/bike-path-made-from-recycled-plastic-testing-in-netherlands-2018-9 https://fortune.com/2015/08/13/recycled-plastic-roads/

See —In Colorado, a massive highway expansion project resulted in fantastic new commute option — for bicyclists. US 36 now boasts a bikeway from Boulder to Westminster that’s 18 miles long (https://commutingsolutions.org/bike/us-36-bikeway/)

USE PAINT! Want Better Streets? Just Add Paint. These projects are more than eye candy. They can deliver significant safety benefits for pennies on the dollar.”

“Blacktop can become a backdrop for new public spaces,” https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/10/safe-streets-janette-sadik-khan-bloomberg-asphalt-art-initiative/600988/?

Think what could be done to make the corridor from Sooke to Port Renfrew as a tourism cultural cycling corridor with the rich history of the area, the extraordinary artistic talent of the community and its quite glorious and envied environmental settings.

It is important to acknowledge that tourism will only become more and more important in this area of the province. Please see this article: https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/11/14/Overtourism-British-Columbia/

The cultural/cycling corridor would be a means to mitigate the use of an automobile for tourist to this extremely high profile tourism area. It should also be noted that cycling tourism is a massive market with increasing potentials for our area. Cycling tourism is also of much lower environmental impact than automobile tourism.

See: Is Canada missing the boat on cycling tourists? https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/is-canada-missing-the-boat-on-cycling-tourists-1.2717129 And https://www.spinlister.com/blog/no-one-talking-about-bicycle-tourism/

In 2012, the Outdoor Industry Association recorded bicycle tourism-related sales in the US at a whopping $70.7 billion per year (more when you tack on indirect economic benefits). That makes it the 2nd highest grossing outdoor recreation category overall behind camping.

Some images:

1. Bollards with Fins!
https://www.google.com/search?q=bollards+with+shark+fins&sxsrf=ACYBGNT--0LZkP8vu7nhFhr-czyqemaI5g:1575489711556&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj8wOrE5JzmAhVLu54KHaR1AZMQ_AUoAXoECCEQAw&biw=1116&bih=846#imgrc=tWg56E4QlrlVKM:

2. Other designs of artistic bollards
https://www.google.com/search?biw=1116&bih=846&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNRSDFhNqEWJGq9z0h2KJyBS-WftUA%3A1575489714168&sa=1&ei=shDoXYL_CYTm-gTmsYn4DA&q=artistic+bollards&oq=artistic+bollards&gs_l=img.3..0.25860.29721..29853...1.0..0.57.960.20......0....1..gws-wiz-img.......35i39j0i67j0i10i67j0i8i30j0i5i30j0i24.e5hy2JqzxtI&ved=0ahUKEwiCoIrG5JzmAhUEs54KHeZYAs8Q4dUDCAc&uact=5

3. An inexpensive pedestrian/bike bridge built using as support highway signage struts supports. Or one made entirely of wood? To connect the Galloping Goose to the cycling /cultural corridor to Port Renfrew.

Thanks for your attention to these preliminary notes. Kind Regards

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