Kuehn says residents received “very little” notification and most had no idea the project was coming in July. While she says she is in favour of bike lanes, she says the Promenade project has made life easier for cyclists at the expense of everyone else.
“You would see people park with their small children and strollers, or people with very limited mobility with their cane and walker, and they would just park, shuffle across the street, sit on the bench and spend hours there enjoying the view,” she says. “We’re really not seeing that anymore.”
Jessica Lamarre, the City’s safe mobility director, says the City identified Victoria Promenade as a district connector, making it a high-priority bike corridor, and as a substandard route. “It connects two important parts of the existing network, so it’s a bit of a missing link,” she says.
The City held two virtual public sessions and gathered 647 responses to an online survey before implementing the pilot, with 55 per cent of respondents living in Oliver and 112 in the specific area. Lamarre says that’s “quite a good showing” by city standards. She contends the project also fits into the City’s bike plan and safe mobility strategy, which were both informed by significant public engagement.
But the deluge of complaints has compelled the City to expand consultation by postering, holding in-person meetings, sending physical mail outs to buildings on the street, reaching out to building managers, and having staff stop pedestrians on the Promenade to survey them in person.