Beacon Hill Park is one of Victoria’s great places.
How many people realize that the park extends south to the waterfront on the Salish Sea? The impression of many is that the park ends at Dallas Road — and the strip along the waterfront is something else. Certainly, that is the reality of the park experience – the roadway truncates the park, rather than serving it.
We now have an opportunity to “reconnect” the park and the sea – to make the experience whole again. So people can walk the natural areas from the hilltop, down through the traditional lands of Songhees people, to the waterfront point where they had a village before settlers arrived. The opportunity comes with the upcoming CRD Wastewater line, which will be dug from Clover Point to Ogden Point. After the installation of the line, our community can put this important, evocative, place back together in a way that better honours its history and serves its role as a park.
Here is a Greater Victoria Placemaking Network proposal: rethink the Dallas Road right-of-way and redesign it as a multi-user space. Make people on foot the true priority user. Adapt the existing roadway so that people on mobility scooters can easily and safely make their way along the south edge of the park. Create a dedicated bike lane for recreational riders, including clusters and groups arriving at the Ogden Point cruise ship terminal.
A safe and inviting multi-user passageway could play the role of a true “parkway” rather than the current vehicle arterial design.
Check out our short slide show:
These ideas build upon the work done by the James Bay Community Association, including design concepts for the Douglas / Dallas corner and “softening” the edges of Douglas St and the park to create new public access to Beacon Hill Park. Check their Getting Around James Bay report and Live On Douglas concepts.
We also base this proposal on our Cook St ReMake project, which showed that Cook St on the park’s east side is a barrier to easy, safe, park access. The three streets – Cook, Dallas and Douglas – need a remake so that they serve people, not just people in cars traveling to other parts of the capital region.
What do you think? We look forward to hearing from you. Email us at info [at] victoriaplacemaking.ca or give us some feedback on Twitter or Facebook.