CENTRAL SAANICH – Cyclists will soon have a new facility for storing their bikes, tuning up and even charging e-bikes. The covered circular facility will also include public seating and provide a resting spot for residents and visitors.
In partnership with Saanichton Village Association, the District will begin construction of a new Bike ‘n Ride in the core of Saanichton to support active transportation. The site is on municipal-owned property at 1945 Mt Newton Cross Road, east of the Fresh Cup Roastery Café parking lot and will further enhance the village.
The project was the idea of the Saanichton Village Association who is contributing $28,220 – almost half of the cost. The new Bike ’n ’Ride is on a historical path, the location of the rail station for the V&S railway, which ran from Victoria to Sidney. People would disembark on the very spot of the new structure for a weekend stay at the Prairie Inn, or carry on to Sidney.
The site will include Saanichton Village heritage themes, display maps of connecting bike trails all over the Peninsula, and local art. The SVA plans to reach out to local artists for input on how the shelter can include a relevant cultural component. “We envision this being a gathering place for cyclists who are coming in from other areas of Victoria and want to have a nice space to rest and enjoy some down time on their ride,” said SVA member Ron Spelt.
“We’re all very excited to see this community collaboration finally come together,” he added. “Ever since the completion of our Welcoming Totem project, we’ve wanted to make this happen. Saanichton Village has such great access to transit. Our hope is that residents will use the facility to bike to the Village to shop, or to hop on a bus as a means of travelling elsewhere. The Bike N ’Ride in Central Saanich will really add to the village culture for Saanichton.”
Others have contributed financially to the project as well – the Sidney Rotary Club, the Sidney Lion’s Club, several private donors, and everyone who contributed to the bottle collection bin located for several years at the Shell gas station. Village architects Finlayson Bonet, he noted, donated their design services to help frame the project’s initial vision.
This new amenity aligns with the District’s Climate Leadership Plan and vision for a healthy and low carbon community. With an Active Transportation Plan currently underway, this project will raise the profile of active transportation and provide a destination for residents and visitors. It’s expected to be open to the public by the end of July.
“Council thanks the Saanichton Village Association for leading the charge on this new amenity for cyclists,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor.