City axes Dallas Road fence pilot project

After much public outcry, Victoria city council has decided not to erect a fence along Dallas Road to separate pedestrians from dogs.

After much public outcry, Victoria city council has decided not to erect a fence along Dallas Road to separate pedestrians from dogs.

During Thursday’s council meeting, council voted 5-3 in favour of dropping the one-year pilot project, with some councillors saying the proposed fence doesn’t necessarily achieve the goal of making the walkway more safe for all users.

The path running along Dallas Road is an on-leash area, according to city bylaws.

“People want to walk their dogs off leash on the path, which is not currently permitted. From time to time, we do see injuries incurred as a result of dogs not being cared for properly,” said Coun. Ben Isitt, citing a number of emails he received from residents who were injured after dogs ran into them on the path.

“I don’t think members of the public should be at risk to go down to their waterfront park. As the population ages, senior citizens, people want to enjoy the waterfront, we’re going to see growing concern over the safety of this area.”

In 2015, council directed city staff to explore options that would reduce conflicts from occurring between dogs and pedestrians on the popular waterfront pathway. Recently, staff came back to council, recommending split-rail fencing be installed on the north side of the park along Dallas Road, with openings by the parking areas, as part of a one-year $60,000 pilot project.

According to city staff, formal complaints about conflicts between dogs and pedestrians along Dallas Road have dropped in recent years. In 2014, there were more than 60 complaints. That number dropped to about 40 last year and 20 in the first six months of 2016.

One councillor noted the numbers have dropped because some people have decided to go elsewhere.

However, since news broke of the proposed plan, there has been much public outcry from both dog owners and pedestrians in the community.

Councillors received hundreds of emails from residents — some of whom had constructive suggestions, others had a threatening tone if council decided to move forward.

“I don’t know that we’re in a climate to make a rational decision. I feel uncomfortable being candid in terms of the retribution that will come. That’s not a way to make a good decision,” said Coun. Pam Madoff, noting the issue originally arose after people voiced concerns about safety on the pathway.

“This is such an important part of our city that we should be able to share.”

A petition also sprouted up calling on the city to keep Dallas Road off-leash and dog-friendly, and garnered more than 700 signatures in a few days. Many residents also spoke against the proposal at the council meeting.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Public hearing coming for Victoria police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Police watchdog hearing follows VPD investigation into allegations

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read