Beacon Hill Park
Pilot Road Changes in Beacon Hill Park
Changes in traffic direction and road closures are being piloted in Beacon Hill Park to reduce traffic and make the park more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
During the pilot, a combination of bollards, street painting, signage and new curbing will be used to direct traffic in the park. These are temporary, cost effective ways to mark the changes in the park.
Please tell us what you think by completing a short survey.
The three-month pilot that began in August 2012 has been extended until the end of August 2013 to allow the community more time to experience the changes and provide input. If there is community support for the proposed changes, the temporary bollards will be replaced by permanent curbing, increased green space and multi-use trails in 2014.
Pilot Road Changes and Consultation
During the pilot, motorists will still be able to drive in and out of the park and will have access to it recreation features and parking. All of the parking lots will remain open and street parking in front of the Petting Zoo, Cricket Pitch, and Watering Can will be maintained.
Motorists will be able to enter the park from Arbutus Way off Southgate Street and at Circle Drive off Douglas Street; and exit the park from Circle Drive at Dallas Road and Douglas Street. Motorists will have access to the Cricket Pitch off Heywood Avenue, but there will be no through traffic to Circle Drive.
Please see the map and descriptions below for changes to road access and direction in Beacon Hill Park during the pilot.
1) Arbutus Way: One-way vehicle access into the park will be maintained at Southgate Street, but parallel parking will be reduced and restricted to time limits on weekday mornings.
2) Chestnut Row: Located between Arbutus Way and Circle Drive, Chestnut Row will change direction, becoming one-way southbound for motorists.
Three parallel parking spaces designated for families and seniors will be provided.
Motorists will have the opportunity to turn left (east) and right (west) from Chestnut Row onto Circle Drive to exit the park at Dallas Road or Douglas Street.
The route will serve as a primary horse and carriage route in the park.
3) Bridge Way: The road will be closed to traffic at the crosswalk next to the public washrooms. New curbing will allow for vehicles to turn around and take Chestnut Row to Circle Drive.
Two new designated parking spots for people with mobility challenges will be provided.
A new multi-use path will be created from the public washrooms to Heywood Way on the closed road.
The route will be part of a proposed Trans Canada Trail connection.
4) Circle Drive: Between Chestnut Row and Dallas Road, Circle Drive will be one-way eastbound, heading out of the park.
The westbound lane (leading into the park from Dallas Road up to the Petting Zoo crosswalk) will serve as a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.
New designated parking for families and seniors will be provided.
The route will be part of the proposed Trans Canada Trail connection.
5) Heywood Way: The southbound lane of Heywood Way will end at the Cricket Pitch in the park, with no vehicle access to Circle Drive. Designated vehicle parking and a turn-around area will be available.
The pilot road closures are designed to:
Improve safety and accessibility by converting some existing roads to pedestrian, wheelchair and bicycle-friendly pathways.
Reduce parallel parking in the park to improve user safety and park aesthetics.
Provide designated parking for seniors and families close to park amenities.
Promote existing, under-used parking lots in the park.
Reduce opportunities for motorists to shortcut and speed through the park, which can result in vehicle collisions with park users and wildlife.
Increase green space.
SURVEY: Tell Us What You Think!
Please tell us what you think of the pilot road changes in Beacon Hill Park. An online survey is available below, and print surveys will be available at the Beacon Hill Park Maintenance Yard located at the end of Nursery Road. The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Surveys will also be available at the Public Service Centre at Victoria City Hall, weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Please join the conversation by completing this short survey.
Information Booth in the Park
In 2013, City Parks staff will be in the park on select days with displays and a short survey, to answer questions and invite the community to tell us what they think of the pilot road changes.
The community had an opportunity to view displays, meet Parks planners, ask questions and complete a short survey at an information booth in the park in August 2012. Thank you to all those who stopped by and provided feedback.
Preparations for Pilot
In July 2012, City crews began converting some of the park's roads to temporary multi-use trails and change the direction of traffic flow in the park. The work consisted of installing temporary bollards and signs, as well as improving curbing and lane painting for the pilot routes. Pedestrian and bicycle access was maintained but motorists experienced minor delays. The pilot road changes were made incrementally, with City crews working at the intersections of Bridge Way and Chestnut Row; Chestnut Row and Circle Drive; Circle Drive and Dallas Road; and at both ends of Heywood Way, between Bridge Way and Circle Drive.
The crowning jewel in Victoria's park system, Beacon Hill Park is an oasis of both natural and landscaped beauty. Its open vista across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and unique recreation features make it a destination for residents and visitors alike. Vehicle traffic within the park, however, is increasingly a safety concern due to speeding and the park's use as a short-cut by drivers.
Beacon Hill Park was developed in the 1880s as a Victorian era pleasure park. The original park included a number of formal carriageways and pathways. Over the past 130 years, these carriageways became roads, and new roads were developed as have many formal and informal pathways. Today, the park includes four kilometres of roadway, more than 10 formal designated vehicle parking areas with 583 parking stalls, and many kilometres of pathways.
A key recommendation in the Beacon Hill Park Management Plan is to develop a traffic management plan, to reduce traffic in the park and promote a safe and pedestrian friendly environment. City Parks staff looked at three transportation issues - vehicle traffic in the park, parking in the park, and pedestrian and bicycle trails in the park.
The City of Victoria held two open houses in November 2011 to provide the community an opportunity to view displays and provide feedback on proposed improvements, which included specific road closures and trail improvements. Although the draft plan received strong community support, some were concerned with losing the ability to drive through the park, while others were concerned with limited senior access, night time security and cost.
In March 2012, a draft transportation management plan was presented to City Council. Staff were directed to develop a detailed work plan for changes to vehicular traffic and present cost-effective alternatives on a trial basis for public input. In June, Council supported a three-month pilot project in the park.
In October 2012, City staff presented a report on the consultation results for the three-month pilot to City Council. It was decided that the pilot should be extended until the end of August 2013 to provide more time for the community to experience the changes in the park and provide input.
November 2011 Open Houses
The following display panels were presented to the community for feedback at the open houses in November 2011. The public had the opportunity to complete surveys in person and online.
The Draft Beacon Hill Park Transportation Management Plan [PDF - 1.3 MB] was made available to the community for feedback.
Go to Top