Mixed reaction to Beacon traffic

Jury is out but there’s strong support for making traffic on Beacon Avenue run two ways

“I have a concern that commercial trucks will have to park on the side streets when they make deliveries. I understand the business concerns

By Tim Collins/Contributor

The jury may still be out but based on the reaction at an Oct. 8 information session at the Mary Winspear Centre, there is strong support for the concept of changing Beacon Avenue in Sidney back to a two way street.

The session was hosted by Steve Duck of TIDESgroup and the Sidney Tourism Improvement Group (STIG). That’s a group of businessmen who have launched a campaign to do away with what they call a counter-intuitive and confusing traffic system through downtown Sidney.

About 50 residents, many of them business owners, attended. It was an effort on the organization’s part to allay some of the fears sprung from what Duck says is misinformation regarding his group’s proposal.

“We have people who have heard that going back to a two way would mean that everything would go back to the way it once was; that the wider sidewalks would disappear and the sidewalk seating areas would be gone. That just isn’t the case.”

While none of the individuals interviewed were openly opposed to STIG’s Two Way All the Way campaign, not everyone was willing to throw their support behind the concept; at least not yet.

Cliff McNeil-Smith, owner of Tanner’s Books and member of both the Sidney Business Improvement Area and the Community Development Commission said while he is open to the concept, more formal public consultation is required.

“Council commissioned a traffic report from Urban Systems (a Victoria consulting firm) and I voted in favor of public consultation based on some of the things in that report, including this issue. We need to allow for that input before I’m going to say whether this is a good idea.”

A small group of people, apparently representing the town’s administration, stood impassively at the sidelines, where they declined either comments or photos.

“I’m just here to gather information and impressions,” said one gentleman as he jotted notes on the proceedings.

Some of the attendees, however, were anything but reserved in their comments.

John Treleaven, Sidney resident and member of the Chamber of Commerce, was effusive in his support for the campaign.

“We put a big ‘Do Not Enter’ sign in front of a bunch of stores. Then we tell visitors that, to get to the stores, all they have to do are turn right … then turn left … then go down a few blocks … the turn left again … and then turn left again … By then you’ve lost them.”

Despite the predominant support displayed by the residents and business owners who attended the session, Duck said he fears that town hall remains unimpressed.

“They think that because we only had 50 people show up, it isn’t an issue with a lot of support. What they miss is that those people represented most of the business on Beacon. They should be paying attention.”

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross said he was unable to attend the meeting but the issue will be part of the Town’s strategic planning sessions this month. He would not comment on the possible steps the Town might take to explore the traffic debate.

The group intends to collect names on a petition supporting their Two Way All the Way campaign and present it to both the Community Development Commission and town council before Sidney hosts its Oct. 24 strategic planning session.

The group hopes that planning session will incorporate the two-way concept within the town plan at that time.

“It’s time to get this done,” said Duck.

— with files from Steven Heywood


Just Posted

Pearkes book sale will have 15,000 titles

Some seek volume of books while others hunt early editions in annual Saanich sale

Gingerbread Showcase returns for another year of delicious fun in Victoria

Funds raised from the event support Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s build in Central Saanich

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

Mayor Rob Martin says different modes of transportation need to be considered

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Road rescue near Sayward points to volunteer need

Fire department recruits can be tough for small, remote communities

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read