Plans call for continuing Victoria Avenue cycle tracks right up to Traffic Bridge

Saskatoon's transportation department has come up with a revised design linking the cycle tracks proposed for Victoria Avenue between 8th and 11th Street all the way up to the Traffic Bridge.

Bike lanes planned for Victoria Avenue were changed to raised cycle tracks earlier this year

A diagram showing the proposed flow of bicycle traffic onto and off of the Traffic Bridge at Victoria Avenue. (City of Saskatoon)

Saskatoon's transportation department has come up with a revised design linking the cycle tracks proposed for Victoria Avenue between 11th and 8th Street up to the Traffic Bridge.

The change from bike lanes to cycle tracks between 11th and 8th Street happened after a review of the plans for Victoria Avenue earlier this year.

Jay Magus, acting director of transportation, said the change meets the principles laid out in the Active Transportation Master Plan approved by council in 2016.

The original plan called for two driving lanes, divided by a raised median, with 1.5-metre bike lanes near the curb and sidewalks on either side. 

"We determined that the original design with the 1.5-metre bike lane did not provide any protection for a cyclist," Magus said in an email.

"The revised design includes a raised 2.3 metre cycle track, which is adjacent to the road still, but with a curb separating the cycle track and road. This provides protection for a cyclist."

The bridge itself has 3-metre-wide "multi-use pathways" on both sides to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians.

Once the Traffic Bridge reconnects 3rd Avenue on the north side of the river with Victoria Avenue on the south, Victoria Avenue will have enhanced cycling infrastructure. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

The proposal being tabled at a committee meeting Monday outlines how they plan to link the paths coming off the bridge to the new sidewalk/cycle track configuration, as well as the linkage at the Victoria Avenue and 11th Street intersection, where Victoria Avenue widens.

The report says a price request has been issued to Graham Commuter Partners to complete the work as a part of the Traffic Bridge portion of the North Commuter Parkway project.

If the cost estimate comes back too high to absorb within the existing capital budget, the report suggests the work be done using another contractor once the Traffic Bridge is complete.

The Traffic Bridge is scheduled to reopen in fall 2018, reconnecting Victoria Avenue with 3rd Avenue on the north side of the river.

With files from Guy Quenneville