The intersection at Richardson and Moss streets in Fairfield. Plans to install barriers and traffic calming measures along Richardson between Cook Street and Foul Bay Road, as part of the City of Victoria’s cycling network, continue to come under fire from the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

The intersection at Richardson and Moss streets in Fairfield. Plans to install barriers and traffic calming measures along Richardson between Cook Street and Foul Bay Road, as part of the City of Victoria’s cycling network, continue to come under fire from the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Richardson Street redesign continues to hear opposition in Victoria

City council votes down a call to revisit design of neighbourhood bikeway project

An attempt to have City of Victoria staff revisit the Richardson Street redesign as part of the city’s cycling network was voted down by Victoria council.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe made a motion during final budget deliberations to have the project removed from the 2021 work plan, so staff could take another look at the approved design, but it was defeated 6-3 on April 22.

Coun. Stephen Andrew, who seconded the motion and voted in favour along with Coun. Geoff Young, had previously told council he had received “upwards of 200” resident complaints from people questioning the design for the Richardson corridor.

It calls for a significant reduction in vehicle traffic, using barriers and other traffic calming measures.

“I’m not convinced that we may have got it right, that’s all, nothing against the work that staff did,” he told Black Press Media in an interview.

RELATED STORY: Fort Street is Victoria’s preferred bike lane route from junction to Foul Bay

The potential for commuter and other non-resident traffic on Richardson to spill over onto neighbouring streets is worrisome, said Linda Barry, who lives nearby on Richmond Road. In March she sent mayor and council a nine-point list of concerns relating to the project.

“I’m concerned with the school zone at Chandler (Avenue), which has a very congested crosswalk,” she said, noting neighbouring streets are very narrow. “More traffic will be flowing onto Richmond, Foul Bay and on Fairfield.”

In 2019 and 2020, numerous opportunities for feedback were offered on the design for Richardson Street, selected as the preferred east-west route over Fairfield Road following previous consultation. The city collected feedback in person, via email, online surveys and at community association meetings.

Nonetheless, Barry said she was not aware of public consultation before council approved a neighbourhood bikeway treatment in July 2020. “It doesn’t make sense to me, spend all this money doing something that the public doesn’t want and does not appear to be necessary.” She added the city appeared to ignore Oak Bay’s input on the project – Richardson becomes McNeill Avenue at Foul Bay Road – in an “appalling lack of governance.”

RELATED STORY: Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Such disconnects from city efforts to gather public input are troubling to Andrew, who came to council winning a byelection after the consultation was done on this project.

“I will acknowledge that there was quite a lot of consultation. What seems to be happening now is we have found a whole group of people that feel they have not been consulted,” he said, now that the project is going ahead.

He wondered if the city should consider different engagement tools in future to reach affected residents. But with work to transform Richardson scheduled for this summer, Andrew said all anyone can do now is wait to see what happens once the changes are completed.

“I believe something was missed, but it may be 18 months before we see the effects,” he said.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

bike lanesCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

One of the last remaining street payphones in Kelowna. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News)
Last call approaches for payphones?

Mobile phones diminishing need

James Taylor, a Saanich resident and member of the Curve Lake First Nation, walked all over Greater Victoria on May 5 in honour of Red Dress Day and the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Devon Bidal/News staff)
Indigenous man walks Greater Victoria to honour missing and murdered women and girls

James Taylor, of the Curve Lake First Nation, marks Red Dress Day with healing walk, songs

Victoria police is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying this suspect after they allegedly robbed a Douglas Street bank on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek identity of suspect who alllegedly robbed Victoria bank

Officers were called to a bank in the 1000-block of Douglas Street just after 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested for allegedly spitting, yelling anti-Asian racial slurs at a mother and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

Victoria police said Wednesday that they continue to look for Belinda Ann Cameron, who was last seen on May 5, 2005. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police still looking for Belinda Cameron who was last seen 16 years ago

Cameron was reported missing on June 4, 2005, and her case is deemed suspicious

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

Most Read