In 2016, the Town received a provincial grant to create a cycling link between Upper and Lower Gibsons. A significant portion of this funding was used to create the new low gradient trail (named Helen’s Way).
The gradual incline of Helen’s Way provides access to a wide range of users including bicycles, scooters and pedestrians through a wooded natural environment.
Once users reach Shaw Road, there is no formal cycling route. The terms of the grant requires the Town to provide facilities for cyclists on Shaw Road from Inglis Road to Gibsons Way.
In a recent survey by TRaC (transportationchoices.ca) found the three main barriers to cycling on the Sunshine Coast include:
poor bike lane design or lack of bike lanes;
safety on cycling routes; and
cycling routes that are busy and shared with vehicles.
79% of the respondents stated that building dedicated bikes lanes to increase cycling safety was very important, while 54% also thought that it was very important to connect cycling routes.
The Shaw Road Advisory Bike Lanes will provide a safe connection from Upper to Lower Gibsons for all modes of active transportation.
Th following is a breakdown of the funding sources for this project:
Advisory Bike Lanes in Gibsons
The Town of Gibsons installed sharrows and a Northbound advisory bike lane on Shaw Road in May. While similar to standard bike lanes (which are marked on pavement by solid white lines), advisory bike lanes are used on narrow low-volume streets and are marked with dashed lines. Advisory bike lanes give cyclists riding space, but are also available for vehicles if needed to pass oncoming traffic. This concept has been used in other towns and cities in Canada and the US, but not on the Sunshine Coast.
There are many residential two-way streets where cars and bikes negotiate relatively narrow roads already; advisory bike lanes simply formalize the existing rules of the road, while the painted lines remind drivers of the space they are required to give cyclists.
Click here to view the YouTube video from the City of Ottawa to see how advisory bike lanes work.