Victoria seeks reduction in park short-cut traffic

New plan sees scaled-down changes to Beacon Hill roadways

A car passes parked cars and a parking sign along Arbutus Way in Beacon Hill Park. Victoria is considering changes to road access and parking in the park

A car passes parked cars and a parking sign along Arbutus Way in Beacon Hill Park. Victoria is considering changes to road access and parking in the park

After public outcry over proposed plans to close some roads to vehicles in Beacon Hill Park, more modest changes are in the works.

People were fearful of the unknown, said Coun. Charlayne Thornton Joe.

After reading the original plans, people thought “I can’t go here now,” she said Thursday at a city environment and infrastructure committee meeting. “We’re saying ‘yes you can.'”

Last year, staff recommended permanent closures of some sections of roads that run through the park. The closures have been scaled back and instead, cheaper, temporary measures such as bollards and signage were introduced last week.

The main changes now proposed entail removing parallel parking along Arbutus Road – the entrance to the park at the foot of Quadra Street – except for evenings and weekends; closing Bridge Way at the washrooms, but adding 15-minute parking stalls for seniors and young families; and closing Heywood Way between the cricket field and Circle Drive.

The road closures are mainly intended to prevent drivers from cutting through the park.

“This is meeting the concerns halfway,” said Doug DeMarzo, manager of parks planning and design.

It keeps the spirit of the original plan, to make the park as friendly as possible to pedestrians, while maintaining vehicle access to all the park’s major amenities.

In March, council directed staff to cut the project’s budget from $530,000 to $25,000.

The new “bare bones” plan has nixed a proposed perimeter trail, upgrades to the parking lots and other esthetic improvements.

Pending final approval by council, the parks department hopes to get started in July. From July through November, parks staff will survey the public about the changes. The results will determine whether the changes are reversed or maintained, and whether the project proceeds to the next phase.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read