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  • Mon. April 24 - Road & bike lane upgrades now underway on Fort

Mon. April 24 - Road & bike lane upgrades now underway on Fort

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Pacific Opera Victoria

Good morning !

Hold tight, everyone. It looks like we have at least one more day of April showers before a run of sun. And the warm weather won’t be shy once it gets here. Projections have it getting up to 23C later this week.

It’s the kind of weather that gets folks outside for a nice bike ride or a drink on a patio, and conveniently we have stories today on those two things. Read below for updates on the Fort bike lanes and the new patio bylaws, plus our reader-picked rundown of the best local patios.

Cam Welch

Bike lane and road upgrades now underway on Fort

📸 City of Victoria

Construction is now in progress on a build-out of Victoria’s Fort Street bike lanes. Over about 10 months, the city will add protected two-way lanes from Cook to the Fort-Yates junction, protected one-way lanes from that junction to the eastern edge of the city at Foul Bay Road, and about two blocks of painted lanes on Foul Bay.

Currently, the Fort bike lanes change to painted lanes east of Cook and then cross to the other side of the street as they crest the hill. Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto said in a statement that making Fort safer was a priority from the public during cycling network consultations.

The 2.7km bike lane project is being merged with other work the city had slated for Fort, including upgrades to road crossings, lighting, and/or traffic signals at over a dozen points along the route. Central Middle will get a covered bike parking shelter, to make it easier for students and staff to bike to school, and the slip lane next to it will be removed and replaced with a public plaza. Island Health also anticipates the upgrades will make it easier for Royal Jubilee staff to cycle.

Cutoff at border highlights Victoria/Oak Bay cycling divide

The upgrades end at the border of Oak Bay, a district that has done significantly less bike network expansion than neighbouring Victoria and Saanich. Since passing its active transportation strategy 12 years ago, it has added only about 500m of bike lanes.

Oak Bay’s council has at times been directly at odds with Victoria’s over cycling infrastructure, such as with the Richardson plan. In this current case, Oak Bay supported this Fort plan over other options such as a Fort-Leighton hybrid route or lanes going from Pandora through to Oak Bay Avenue.

Read more on those municipal divides, and the overall plans for local bike infrastructure, in last year’s cycle-network feature story.

Capital Bulletin

⛅ Sun & cloud today. 30% chance of afternoon showers. Fog patches overnight. High 13C / low 4C.

☀️Sun & heat this week: Tuesday through Sunday is expected to be clear and sunny, with highs up to 23C.

🚌 ​​Tofino Bus returns May 4: The Island inter-city line has been suspended since the start of the year, but has now announced it will run Thursday-Monday seasonal service until Oct. 2.


Local company trying to replace plastic packaging with cellulose

📸 Unsplash

How can you replace plastic by waterproofing paper and textiles? That's the problem Romain Metivet, founder and CEO of Victoria-based green chemistry venture Cellulotech, is trying to tackle. The company specializes in a chemical process that allows for cellulose-based materials, such as paper, to become waterproof while remaining biodegradable.

Metivet was concerned with how plastic-reliant the materials industry is, and came across technology that could waterproof cellulose-based materials. He approached the inventors of the technology, visited existing industrial research centres, and saw the bottleneck in the process that prevented it from scaling up.

Cellulotech is currently working on pilot operations in the EU, where the existing research operations are, but in the longer term hopes to take advantage of the forestry and paper operations on the Island.


Your picks for the best local patios

Temperatures are expected to hit 20-plus degrees this week, and that means patio season is upon us even if summer itself hasn’t yet arrived. We asked Capital Daily and Tasting Victoria readers which patios are the best in the region, and your votes gave us these top three.

Check these patio picks out before the tourists come flooding up our streets and lining up for those precious patio moments.



Friends of Timothy Celebration concert and exhibit

Celebrate the legacy of Pacific Opera’s founding artistic director, Maestro Timothy Vernon, at this star-studded evening hosted by Saturday Afternoon at the Operas Marion Newman (CBC Radio) and featuring over 100 artists!

Get your tickets.

Capital Picks

🩰 Ballet Edmonton at the Royal Theatre: Tonight’s Music in Motion performance, presented by Victoria Symphony and Dance Victoria, will feature Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and a new commission of Le loup de Lafontaine. [Tickets]

Biggest sale of the year—Shop Dodd’s famous One Day Sale for top secret savings you have to see to believe, Saturday, Apr. 29.*

🎨 Annual grad art show: Last day to see the work of 20+ artists at UVic’s year-end BFA exhibit. 10am-5pm. [Details]

🏠 Want to age in place? Next Day Access delivers and installs mobility and accessibility products right to your home. Schedule your free in-home assessment today!*

🤝 Now hiring: Program Assistant (Canada Summer Jobs) at Pacific Opera Victoria.

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

🐆 Cougar and dead deer in driveway

There were several cougar sightings in Colwood on Sunday, including one family’s morning glimpse of a cat and its kill right outside their window. [CHEK]

⛱️ Victoria may allow patios on boulevards after all

Most pandemic-era sidewalk patios will transition smoothly to the new permanent bylaw. But the ones at Fifth Street and the Beagle have to go by June; the new bylaw doesn’t allow boulevard patios that could damage softscape landscaping. Mayor Marianne Alto is now looking to have council consider expanding allowances to let them stay. [Times Colonist]

📺 Heritage Minute profiles Cowichan-area village’s multicultural origin

The 60-second short covers the development of Paldi, which was founded in 1917 by Mayo “Santa Claus” Singh and welcomed South Asian, Chinese, Japanese, and European immigrants. [CBC]

In Case You Missed It

🫠 Summer heat and drought: Projected conditions may bring fires, temperatures like those that proved deadly in 2021, and other risks. [Capital Daily]

⛺ Rally against bylaw sweeps: Protesters on Friday called on Victoria to reduce enforcement of bylaws against public sheltering, claiming that bylaw officers often harass unhoused people, do not follow protocol, and misplace or damage confiscated personal items. [CHEK] Similar criticisms were the subject of a lawsuit and rally in March.

⚖️ Don’t let a driving prohibition ruin your life. The lawyers at Acumen Law Corporation have successfully defended thousands of DUI/IRP cases. Learn more at VancouverCriminalLaw.com.*

🦇 Bat conference in Victoria: The Western Bat Working Group brought bat experts from across the western US, western and northern Canada, and northern Mexico to the Grand Pacific last week. This “Bats Across Borders” conference discussed how to tackle major threats to bats such as the white nose syndrome fungus recently detected in BC.

*Sponsored Listing

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