Douglas Street to close for Car Free Day on Sunday

There won't be any honking or road rage on Douglas Street as part of the street is set to close for Victoria's first-ever Car Free Day.

There won’t be any honking or road rage on Douglas Street as part of the street is set to close for Victoria’s first-ever Car Free Day on the weekend.

Six blocks of Douglas Street from Herald to Fort streets will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday for Car Free YYJ festivities.

The inaugural event includes more than 225 vendors such as artisans, businesses, food vendors and not-for-profit organizations, a craft beer garden, a skate ramp and three stages featuring live performances from local musicians such as Bucan Bucan, Le-La-La Dancers, New Groovement, The O’Briens, the Pandora Choir, Steph Macpherson and Winston Wolfe.

A 7,000-square foot grassy park made from artificial turf will also be installed for people to sit and enjoy the festivities between Pandora and Johnson streets.

The Downtown Victoria Businesses Association, who organized the event, estimates more than 10,000 people will show up for the festivities.

“We’ve really been inspired by Car Free Day in Vancouver,” said Ken Kelly, general manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

“We really need to change our ways, even if this, in some small way contributes to a growing awareness of the impact that we as a society are having on this fragile planet, then that’s a good thing.”

The association also hopes the event will draw some much-needed attention to Douglas Street.

“We need to draw attention back to Victoria’s grand avenue — Douglas street used to be the grand avenue, it used to be the street in which people loved to be see and been seen,” he said. “We’re striving to reposition Douglas Street in the minds of the public by having the Car Free Day.”

Car Free Day started in Vancouver 11 years ago as a way of celebrating Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods by organizing an arts and culture festival that reclaimed roads as a place for residents, artists and performers to showcase their work.

“We really want people to enjoy themselves. We feel we’ve planned a really exciting day and we anticipate that this will be the first of a tradition that we are building for everyone to enjoy in downtown Victoria,” added Kelly.

The Victoria Police Department will help block off the roads during the festivities.

We support all kinds of events throughout the city. Car Free Day is an interesting, and frankly, exciting initiative,” said Bowen Osoko with the VicPD, noting they will have reserve officers who will be coming out to help with traffic.

Osoko said it’s important for drivers to check the VicPD and City of Victoria websites for updates throughout the weekend.

Before people come down, because there will be some traffic disruption, not a lot, based on where the block offs are, but it’s important to take a look at the websites to avoid the areas that are blocked off because it will help avoid headaches,” said Osoko.

It’s important for people to be patient on Car Free Day. It’s trying something new, and there may be a few growing pains along the way.”

There will be a free bike valet and free parking at all five city parkade as well as at street meters as well.

Yates and Johnson Streets will remain open for traffic flow through downtown Victoria. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit carfreeyyj.ca.

 

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read