OUR VIEW: A hard road ahead for STIG

Changing the direction of traffic on a portion of Sidney’s Beacon Avenue is going to be a hard sell

Changing the direction of traffic on a portion of Sidney’s Beacon Avenue is going to be a hard sell — and the proponents of doing just that know they have a hard road ahead.

The Sidney Tourism Improvement Group’s Two-Way All The Way campaign kicked off in earnest on Oct. 3 with a public meeting at the Mary Winspear Centre. They drew an estimated 50 people, many of whom were either supporters or municipal staff checking to see what the lobby group is up to.

Attendees were a mix of downtown business people and local residents. There seems to be a focus on business and property owners in the downtown along Beacon Avenue in this campaign. In the early stages, that’s fine — the proponents need the support of those folks who could have a lot to gain (or lose) by changes in traffic patterns. Many reactions so far have been mixed.

Over the long term, however, they will also have to sell the change to the community — the people who drive the streets and are, for the time being, used to the system as it is today.

STIG will also have to come up with convincing arguments to deliver to Sidney town councillors. There are enough of the local politicians who have their doubts about the need for any changes at all that will make the path all the more tough.

Where STIG has a bit of a leg up so far, is in public consultation on the issue.

A traffic study by Urban Systems which was commissioned by the Town last year gave a brief opinion on the traffic flow on Beacon. The contract didn’t specifically ask Urban Systems to do so, but they had extra time available to look into it. In a nutshell, the consultants noted a general lack of intuitiveness in the flow of traffic on and off of Beacon Avenue — but really no other serious issues that need to be addressed immediately.

They suggested strongly that for the town to take any action on the direction matter, they would need to consult heavily with the business community and residents in general.

Council’s initial response was to bury the report at the committee level, essentially delaying making any decisions on the matter. Mayor Larry Cross says he wants the issue on council’s strategic planning agenda this month.

STIG, however, wants local and visitor traffic — and its perceived boon on the fortunes of local business — on the table sooner than later.

They may have reached out to the community first, but it’s the better arguments for change that will win this road race.

 

Just Posted

Former Greater Victoria badminton coach pleads guilty to 8 counts of sexual abuse

All charges relate to incidents taking place from 1970 to 1984

Esquimalt business announces plans for a new Irish pub

The Tudor House Liquor Store is planning to open a 500-seat pub in the next two years

VicPD cuts its Crime Reduction Unit in response to budget constrictions

The CRU worked to reduce crime in the downtown core

Victoria Royals release 2019-20 schedule

Home opener set for Sept. 27 against Prince George

Sooke council pans multiple memorial plaque plan

District should not sell the same bench over and over again, says councillor

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Most Read