Monday, January 16, 2012

Craigflower Bridge - June start date

Not quite how the bridge will look
The design has been chosen and it is a combination of some of the stuff in the picture and the 5 span curved bridge - the curve allowing a large platform for the public on the eastern side.  The picture comes from  Herold Engineering of Nanaimo via the Goldstream Gazzette.

View Royal approved the design, Saanich gives their nod on January 23rd.

The Saanich website has a fair amount of detail on the project.

This month there is going to be another open house to consider the design.  I am not sure what they will do if there is a large negative reaction.

February to April is getting the permits in place.

Catchment area of Craigflower Elementary
May will be the tendering of the work - with an expectation of the work to start in June.   This means the bridge will then be closed for six months from that date.

Here comes my question about the whole project, how will pedestrians get across the bridge?   There are no concrete plans in place to deal with pedestrians needing to cross the bridge.

One the south bank there is Shoreline Middle School, on the north bank there is Craigflower elementary.  Kids cross the bridge all the time in both directions to get to school.  

For about half the kids going to Craigflower Elementary, there will be no bridge anywhere nearby. How will they get to school?  

Catchment area of Shoreline Middle School
Shoreline Middle School is the French immersion middle school for the west side of the Greater Victoria School District.  The early French immersion is at Marigold and most of the kids live closer to that school which means they need to be able to come over the Craigflower bridge to get to Shoreline, though they might be able to go via Helmcken

My son Ben went to Shoreline for late French Immersion and I can tell you the bridge is very busy in the morning and afternoons.   There was a constant stream of kids crossing over the bridge.   My quick estimate is that between 3:00 and 3:30 200-300 people walked over the bridge.   I waited to pick up Ben on our side of the bridge because it sucks getting in and out of Shoreline, especially during the peak pick-up and drop-off times.

So what will all these kids do?   I have heard some mention of a water taxi, but nothing firm.   The summer months will help as the school demand will not exist for 67 days.

Will there be a couple of Victoria Harbour Ferries shuttling back and forth?  With a capacity of 12 people, there would be have to be 10 round trips in half an hour of peak time, minimum.   You would have to have two ferries to deal with the volumes of traffic at peak times.

I am rather surprised this has not looked at and a solution presented.
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