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

Ginormous 10-foot dragon towers over Saanich yard

Artist Dan Iochelli spent seven years crafting the metal beast

Return of the undead: Victoria Zombie Walk hits the streets

Hundreds of zombies expected for annual event Oct. 26 in Centennial Square

Popular corn maze at North Saanich’s Pendray Farms out of operation

No Halloween-themed activities taking place this year at local farm

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Most Read