No decision yet on park road closures

More public consultation is needed before the city can proceed with plans to eliminate some of the roads and parking stalls within Beacon Hill Park.

More public consultation is needed before the city can proceed with plans to eliminate some of the roads and parking stalls within Beacon Hill Park.

So far, community feedback has been mixed on the plan to cut parking stalls to 583 from 753, and reduce almost a quarter of the park’s paved roads.

The parks department plans to transform some of the vehicle routes into paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Roads and parking would be preserved to all major landmarks to ensure accessibility.

While some people objected to the project’s price tag of $530,000, others spoke in favour at the council meeting held Oct. 27.

The Beacon Hill Park Traffic Management Plan “will benefit the park by increasing and better protecting greenspace; visitor enjoyment will be increased as noise and pollution are reduced,” wrote park historian Janis Ringuette, in a letter to council.

“I know several previous efforts to reduce vehicle traffic were derailed by a minority of opponents,” continued Ringuette, who has written extensively on the subject. “This council has consistently advocated more walking and biking… The perfect place to put this goal into practice is in our largest city park.”

Council voted to postpone any decisions and directed staff to do more community consultation.

rholmen@vicnews.com