Victoria bike valet project sees 8,000 bicycles parked in three months
Heather and Alex MacLennan are frequenting Victoria’s core more than they used to, thanks to the City of Victoria’s bike valet service.
“We would never come in with our bikes before,” Alex said. “We’re really hoping it’s not going anywhere and it stays through the winter, because we definitely come down more.”
But the service — launched as a pilot project on June 24 — is set to close down Nov. 6 for the winter. The city said it will work with its partners to evaluate and reassess the program for the spring season.
“We’ve seen continual growth each and every month and we’ve also seen a nice diversity of users,” said Sarah Webb, active transportation specialist for the city. “People that are there for 20 minutes, people that are there for four hours and people that are there for nine hours.”
Roughly 8,000 bikes have been parked at the free Centennial Square valet service since it opened, Webb said. About 30 per cent were oversized bicycles like cargo, electric, adapted and longtail bikes.
The $160,000 bike valet project was funded as part of a $500,000-multi-year enhanced bike parking portfolio allocated by Victoria council in 2021. Other projects include a bike parking retrofit at the Yates Street parkade and six new bike shelters.
$160,000 to park 8,000 bikes. $20 per bike parked. That's not a good program.