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 starting in August 2012. The pilot was extended to a year to provide the community additional time to experience the changes in the park and provide feedback.
August 2012 to August 2013
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.
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