Residents and others once again have the opportunity to provide feedback on the City of Victoria’s proposed changes to Government Street.
Informed by ideas 700 respondents brought forward last summer, the city released a Government Street Refresh draft plan Wednesday, detailing a people-priority future for the downtown section of the street.
The plan calls for two new cultural plazas, expanded pedestrian-only areas and timed car-free zones, as well as pointing out opportunities for public art installations, more accessible seating and extended space for patios and storefronts – building on measures already taken.
Drawing on previous community input about what is valued most about the corridor and the type of improvements envisioned, Mayor Lisa Helps said the next round of feedback is equally important.
“Making Government Street a people-priority street is a key action of the city’s strategic plan and now it’s time to tell us what you think – what have we got right, what have we missed?” she said in a release.
The new cultural spaces would feature a Lekwungen-focused plaza between Humboldt and Courtney streets, and a second at a realigned intersection of Government and Pandora Avenue, which would ensure the extension of the pedestrian-priority area into Chinatown.
One of the goals for this Government Street corridor, Helps stated, is to work with Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to tell a more complete history of the region.
Another change coming to the street is the replacement of some of the iconic hornbeam trees that line it, which the city said are nearing the end of their lifespan.
The space will continue to be open to bikes, pedi-cabs and horse-drawn carriages at all times.
People interested in providing feedback can do so in a few ways, by attending online open houses on Wednesday, March 9 at noon or 6 p.m.; by completing an online survey, and by emailing thoughts to the city directly at engage.victoria.ca. Impacted businesses will also be sent an invitation for a focus group happening March 8.
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