Esquimalt Road medians are here to stay

Council debates removal, decides benefits outweigh disadvantages

The bright, colourful and flowery medians running along Esquimalt Road – a feature the township has become known for – are here to stay.

On Monday, council, sitting as committee of the whole, toyed with the idea of removing 10 medians in the downtown from Admirals Road to Lampson Street and three in the Head Street commercial area. The removal would be gradual and take place with the redevelopment of adjacent land.

“There’s tremendous pressure, lots of contested use. It’s obviously a roadway, it’s got bike lanes on part of it, on-street parking on part of it, power lines,” said Bill Brown, director of development services with the township, during the meeting. “There’s a lot of demand for a very limited space.”

Among the pros stated in a staff report, medians create a pedestrian safety zone in the middle of the street at a crosswalk, prevent head-on vehicle collisions, allow drivers to make safe left-hand turns when no designated lane is available, and calm traffic.

But there are also cons. Medians encourage jaywalking and can block a driver’s sight lines, creating a potential hazard for pedestrians on nearby crosswalks.

Staff research also found that removing medians would allow for wider sidewalks and potentially create more room for bike lanes in commercial areas, as well as for transit shelters and public art in boulevard areas. Removal would also reduce injuries caused by vehicles hitting the medians.

After discussion, council decided the benefits outweighed the disadvantages.

“Everyone compliments Esquimalt for their medians. As much as we had a lot of fights about medians on Admirals [Road] in the past … it would send a really weird message to the public to take them out at this point,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins.

Some councillors expressed interest in taking hydro poles off sidewalks as a way to potentially reduce congestion.

The report was brought forward as part of the Esquimalt Road Urban Design guidelines, which aim to improve the functionality and beautification of sidewalks, building setbacks and location of boulevards. The guidelines are expected to be completed by this fall.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read