Part of Victoria's Wharf Street bike lanes has officially opened – along with the city's first-ever scramble crosswalk.
With the project ahead of schedule, the section of protected bike lanes from Pandora Avenue to Fort Streets was open for public use Thursday morning.
The pedestrian scramble crosswalk is also now in effect at the intersection of Wharf, Humboldt and Government streets.
The unusual crosswalk means pedestrians can cross in either direction or diagonally on a walk signal.
"The scramble crosswalk is really designed to be able to accommodate large volumes of pedestrians like this location here where we see many locals as well as tourists," said city transportation manager Sarah Webb. "What we'll see as large events happen, and throughout the day as people make their way across, you'll find it's quicker and more convenient."
As for the bike lane, more sections will open in the coming weeks including Fort to Government streets on Aug. 9 and Government to Douglas streets on Aug. 15.
A new traffic signal has also been installed at the Johnson Street Bridge to bring cars to a stop so pedestrians and cyclists cross at the same time.
"It is serviced twice, so it means it gets two green lights in every traffic signal cycle," said Webb.
Once completed, the Wharf/Humboldt corridor will have other new features, including urban plazas with trees and benches, eight improved crosswalks, a new pedestrian-controlled traffic signal at Yates Street and transit stops near the entrance to Reeson Park and on Government Street.
The additions are all part of Victoria’s project to connect all the neighborhoods in the Capital Region with 32 kilometres of bike lanes.
Ambassadors are out on the streets informing cyclists on how to use the new bike lanes, part of a year-long education campaign to educate people about the Wharf Street project and scramble crosswalk.