A reader’s recent letter suggesting upgrades to the McNeill Bay seawall and walkway in Oak Bay point out local improvements that are long overdue.
Every time I walk through this part of Oak Bay, I am struck by the natural setting of the area and its inspiring view. Everyday I watch as strollers, joggers, cyclists, drivers and tour buses pass through this scenic section of our municipality, drawn to it for a glimpse of the sea.
Yet if they were to look away from their ocean view, they must surely wonder why such an asset has been left neglected for so long. They would notice the industrial style metal railings are rusting, the all too narrow sidewalks are cracked and crumbling, weeds are left to grow out of gaps in the aging concrete.
In fairness, the municipality works hard at pruning the green areas around McNeill Bay and the repaving of this section of Beach Drive has made it immensely drivable. So why is it that there is such a lack of imagination in how Oak Bay council has approached the rest of the amenities found in this part of town?
I suggest the ideas put forward by Jacques Sirois in his recent letter deserve careful consideration in any new Oak Bay Official Community Plan. Residents and visitors alike should be encouraged by design features of areas like McNeill Bay to get out of their cars and walk about to enjoy our coastal shores. They should be charmed and delighted by what they find on these sea view walks, anywhere between Gonzales Hill to Cadboro Bay.
Perhaps it’s time we expand the tax base in the new Oak Bay community plan and use these increased funds to improve needy areas in our municipality such as McNeill Bay.
Look around council, the shire is getting shabby.