DRA’s Letter to Council RE: Safe Streets & Active Transportation Priorities
The following letter outlines the DRA’s priorities on safe streets and active transportation.
14 February 2015
Re: Priorities Related to Safe Streets and Active Transportation
Dear Mayor and Council,
The Board of the Victoria Downtown Residents’ Association would like to support the Victoria Community Association Network’s request that Council make safe streets and active transportation a top priority during this term’s strategic planning process. As a part of this, we request Council consider the following high-level priorities related to safe streets and active transportation:
1. Engage in a participatory neighborhood approach to solving transportation challenges 2. Encourage city staff to support this participatory neighborhood approach 3. Commit a substantial capital budget to achieve active transportation objectives as identified by neighborhood 4. Improve cycling infrastructure by completing the cycling network 5. Enhance walkability and pedestrian infrastructure
In addition, we would like to highlight the following downtown-specific safe streets and active transportation priorities:
1. Create continuous bike lanes through Downtown and Harris Green 2. Increase the amount of secure lock up areas for bikes outdoors, indoors and sheltered 3. Extend wide sidewalks on Government Street, north to Chinatown 4. Support more late night buses 5. Implement a free public Downtown bus loop 6. Expand and improve pedestrian way-finding signage in Downtown and Harris Green 7. Highlight mid-block crosswalks and pass-throughs that are open later 8. Create another street of distinction that builds on the popularity and success of Government Street as a pedestrian friendly area, perhaps one that intersects Government 9. Promote regular and permanent use of pop up parks and pocket parks along Downtown sidewalks and in parking spaces 10. Create no-cost public spaces 11. Fill vacant storefronts to improve vibrancy and (perceptions of) safety of city streets 12. Plan segregated bike lanes 13. Improve enforcement at intersections 14. Focus on the walkability/livability of Douglas Street, including trying to upgrade it visually with greenery and sculpture (e.g. Esquimalt Street with narrow medians/ landscaping)
We would also like to note that these priorities primarily come from the Livability Solutions public engagement session the DRA held at City Hall in October of 2014, therefore these priorities not only represent the views of our board of directors, but also a portion of the broader public who engaged in that session.
Kaela Schramm and Nicholas Harrington Co-Chairs Downtown Residents Association