McNeill Avenue Corridor Redesign

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The District of Oak Bay is undertaking a redesign of the corridor between Victoria Avenue and Foul Bay Road to address some of the issues that have been observed.

We want your feedback!

This page outlines the current conditions and challenges and describes the concepts that we’ve designed. We invite your feedback on the proposed concepts. This is an opportunity to share your opinions, ask questions, or seek clarification.

Please send your feedback to engineering@oakbay.ca and let us know what you think! The Engineering Department will be making a presentation to Committee of the Whole in June, and that presentation will include a summary of the feedback that we receive.

Current Conditions

McNeill Avenue is designated as a Collector in the Official Community Plan. Collectors are roads that help move vehicles from lower volume local roads and get them to their destinations, or to higher volume roads (which are called arterials.) McNeill Avenue is one of the primary collectors south of Oak Bay Avenue, and it connects to Foul Bay Road at the western end.

McNeill Avenue has a 40 km/hr speed limit and is used by approximately 4,400 vehicles per day and is also used by BC Transit buses. The road is 8.6 metres wide and allows parking on both sides of the street. Between Victoria Avenue and Foul Bay Road there are approximately 71 parking spaces. A parking survey conducted in 2021 concluded that of the 71 parking spaces, at most 15 of them are in use at any given time.

Issues with the Current Road

Based on conversations with residents, a few issues have been noted on McNeill Avenue in its current configuration:

  1. Driver speeds. Although the road is signed as 40 km/hr, drivers regularly exceed the speed limit, particularly coming down the hill between Foul Bay Road and Falkland Road.

  1. Damage to parked cars. The road is too narrow for two-way traffic when there are cars parked on both sides. Vehicles must either cross the center line to avoid parked cars, or stop completely, to allow oncoming traffic to pass them. This condition has resulted in damage to side mirrors on parked vehicles.

  1. Lack of cyclist accommodations. McNeill Avenue connects to Richardson Street in the City of Victoria, but McNeill Avenue has no bike lanes or sharrows. Coupled with the narrow roads and high vehicle speeds, it is not a pleasant experience for cyclists.

Objectives of the Redesign

  1. Preserve the status of McNeill Avenue as a collector per the Official Community Plan. Lowering the number of vehicles that use McNeill Avenue is not an objective, as it would simply increase traffic congestion on local roads that were not designed for higher traffic volumes.

  1. Provide accommodations for cyclists. McNeill Avenue is designated as commuter cyclist route in the Official Community Plan, and it connects to the City of Victoria’s cycling network.

  1. Make physical changes to the road that will result in more drivers following the 40 km/hr speed limit.

  1. Make the lanes wide enough that drivers can pass other vehicles without crossing into oncoming traffic, but not so wide that drivers feel encouraged to speed.

Concept A

This concept consists of a 3.35 m eastbound lane with painted sharrows (the lane will be shared by cars and cyclists.) The westbound lane is 3.35 m, and there is a 1.7-1.9 m wide painted bike lane.

Rationale for Concept A

Concept A eliminates the need for cars to cross the centre line, because the drive lanes are wide enough for cars to use them. It increases cyclist safety heading up the hill, which is important for cyclist comfort because this section has the biggest speed difference between the vehicles driving 40 km/hr, and the cyclists going up a hill.

Drawbacks to Concept A

Concept A requires the elimination of all on street parking spaces on McNeill Avenue between Victoria Avenue and Foul Bay Road. As noted above, approximately 15 of these spaces are in use at peak periods, and so these 15 vehicles would need to find elsewhere to park.

Concept B

This concept consists of two 3.35 m driving lanes, both painted with arrows. The remaining street space would be allocated for parked cars. The side of the road with the parking would alternate from block to block.

Rationale for Concept B

Concept B eliminates the need for cars to cross the centre line, because the drive lanes are wide enough for cars to use them. It increases cyclist safety because the cyclists are no longer squeezed between parked cars and the travel lanes. It preserves approximately 22 of the existing 71 parking spaces, which is sufficient for the current level of parking utilization that has been observed.

Drawbacks to Concept B

Concept B does not provide as much cyclist accommodation, because cyclists on the uphill portion of McNeill are still sharing a lane with cars.

The District of Oak Bay is undertaking a redesign of the corridor between Victoria Avenue and Foul Bay Road to address some of the issues that have been observed.

We want your feedback!

This page outlines the current conditions and challenges and describes the concepts that we’ve designed. We invite your feedback on the proposed concepts. This is an opportunity to share your opinions, ask questions, or seek clarification.

Please send your feedback to engineering@oakbay.ca and let us know what you think! The Engineering Department will be making a presentation to Committee of the Whole in June, and that presentation will include a summary of the feedback that we receive.

Current Conditions

McNeill Avenue is designated as a Collector in the Official Community Plan. Collectors are roads that help move vehicles from lower volume local roads and get them to their destinations, or to higher volume roads (which are called arterials.) McNeill Avenue is one of the primary collectors south of Oak Bay Avenue, and it connects to Foul Bay Road at the western end.

McNeill Avenue has a 40 km/hr speed limit and is used by approximately 4,400 vehicles per day and is also used by BC Transit buses. The road is 8.6 metres wide and allows parking on both sides of the street. Between Victoria Avenue and Foul Bay Road there are approximately 71 parking spaces. A parking survey conducted in 2021 concluded that of the 71 parking spaces, at most 15 of them are in use at any given time.

Issues with the Current Road

Based on conversations with residents, a few issues have been noted on McNeill Avenue in its current configuration:

  1. Driver speeds. Although the road is signed as 40 km/hr, drivers regularly exceed the speed limit, particularly coming down the hill between Foul Bay Road and Falkland Road.

  1. Damage to parked cars. The road is too narrow for two-way traffic when there are cars parked on both sides. Vehicles must either cross the center line to avoid parked cars, or stop completely, to allow oncoming traffic to pass them. This condition has resulted in damage to side mirrors on parked vehicles.

  1. Lack of cyclist accommodations. McNeill Avenue connects to Richardson Street in the City of Victoria, but McNeill Avenue has no bike lanes or sharrows. Coupled with the narrow roads and high vehicle speeds, it is not a pleasant experience for cyclists.

Objectives of the Redesign

  1. Preserve the status of McNeill Avenue as a collector per the Official Community Plan. Lowering the number of vehicles that use McNeill Avenue is not an objective, as it would simply increase traffic congestion on local roads that were not designed for higher traffic volumes.

  1. Provide accommodations for cyclists. McNeill Avenue is designated as commuter cyclist route in the Official Community Plan, and it connects to the City of Victoria’s cycling network.

  1. Make physical changes to the road that will result in more drivers following the 40 km/hr speed limit.

  1. Make the lanes wide enough that drivers can pass other vehicles without crossing into oncoming traffic, but not so wide that drivers feel encouraged to speed.

Concept A

This concept consists of a 3.35 m eastbound lane with painted sharrows (the lane will be shared by cars and cyclists.) The westbound lane is 3.35 m, and there is a 1.7-1.9 m wide painted bike lane.

Rationale for Concept A

Concept A eliminates the need for cars to cross the centre line, because the drive lanes are wide enough for cars to use them. It increases cyclist safety heading up the hill, which is important for cyclist comfort because this section has the biggest speed difference between the vehicles driving 40 km/hr, and the cyclists going up a hill.

Drawbacks to Concept A

Concept A requires the elimination of all on street parking spaces on McNeill Avenue between Victoria Avenue and Foul Bay Road. As noted above, approximately 15 of these spaces are in use at peak periods, and so these 15 vehicles would need to find elsewhere to park.

Concept B

This concept consists of two 3.35 m driving lanes, both painted with arrows. The remaining street space would be allocated for parked cars. The side of the road with the parking would alternate from block to block.

Rationale for Concept B

Concept B eliminates the need for cars to cross the centre line, because the drive lanes are wide enough for cars to use them. It increases cyclist safety because the cyclists are no longer squeezed between parked cars and the travel lanes. It preserves approximately 22 of the existing 71 parking spaces, which is sufficient for the current level of parking utilization that has been observed.

Drawbacks to Concept B

Concept B does not provide as much cyclist accommodation, because cyclists on the uphill portion of McNeill are still sharing a lane with cars.

Page last updated: 21 Jun 2022, 03:55 PM