The Victoria Citizens Action Network tied yellow ribbons to 26 trees on Douglas Street as part of a campaign to prevent them from being cut down by B.C. Transit.

Locals fear loss of trees in Douglas Street bus plan

A group of activists are pushing back against B.C. Transit after learning the company plans on cutting down dozens of trees.

A group of activists are pushing back against B.C. Transit after learning the company plans on cutting down dozens of trees to make room for an express bus lane on Douglas Street.

Earlier this week, the Victoria Citizens Action Network, a group of citizens working together on local and regional environmental and social justice issues, tied yellow ribbons to 26 trees between Hillside Street and Tolmie Avenue as part of a campaign to stop B.C. Transit from cutting down the trees.

The $1.6-million plan will add a dedicated southbound bus lane on Douglas, by widening the road by one metre and narrowing existing travel lanes to eventually run rapid transit between downtown and the West Shore.

However, locals are concerned about the loss of the trees, many of which are dozens of years old and were planted in 1921 to honour local soldiers who died in World War I, activists said.

“Some of these are huge, mature heritage trees and cutting them down would make the area very unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Stuart Hertzog, coordinator of the Victoria Citizens Action Network. “It would make it not a nice place to be.”

Hertzog first heard about the plan to tear down the trees earlier this month after B.C. Transit presented their plan to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

“I was fuming mad. This makes the city less liveable,” he said. “People don’t like to walk in areas like that because it’s dangerous.”

However, B.C. Transit said roughly 20 trees on the stretch between Finlayson and Burnside Road east are to be removed, pending Victoria city council approval.

“Ppart of the plan is to remove the trees and also keep these other trees up,” said Drew Snider, spokesperson with B.C. Transit.

“A lot of what is in this plan involves preserving sidewalk and boulevard space as much as possible. It’s not going to be pinching out pedestrians. But what this is going to do, is it’s going to allow buses to travel through there unhindered by traffic.”

Snider also noted according to city park staff, the trees were planted in the early 1960s not in the 1920s. Once the lane is complete, 23 trees will be replanted to replace the ones cut down.

The plan will go before Victoria city council next month. The lane is expected to be complete in 2017.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Strike could start Monday for handyDart

BC Transit warns users to find alternate transportation

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

Most Read