Opinions split on Victoria breakwater handrails plan

Greater Victoria Harbour authority to install safety feature on Ogden Point icon

Photo shows what the Ogden Point breakwater will look like with new handrails installed.

If the jury of social media can be trusted as an authority, the community is pretty evenly divided on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s plan to put guard rails on the Ogden Point breakwater.

One thing is crystal clear, however: everyone has an opinion.

“Maybe fill in the water area around the breakwater with soil, and then put cushions out to soften any falls,” wrote David Coney on the Victoria News’ Facebook page, with just a hint of sarcasm. “And we could have chaperones for everyone. And helmets and lights and pre-walk safety information sessions. With maps in case anyone gets lost, and a full medical team on 24-hour standby, of course.”

While many fellow commenters bemoaned the encroachment of the nanny state, a slight majority celebrated last week’s GVHA announcement that it intends to install the new safety feature.

“Great idea!” wrote Tiffany Haarsma. “I fell off when I was about five. Great opportunity for people with disabilities, elderly who may feel a bit unstable and anyone with a disability (to have) more access. Parents with small children won’t need to worry so much … they can just enjoy the walk.”

The diving community also sees the plan as a boon.

“They’re considering putting in a staircase at the end,” said diving instructor Keelan O’Connell at Ogden Point Dive Centre.

Right now, divers lower themselves onto the granite blocks below the breakwater. The stairs will make access easier for divers and tourists alike, he said. “It benefits us.”

The harbour authority plans to begin work on the project early in the new year. The walkway will be closed to the public for eight to 12 weeks during construction.

The goal is to give greater access to people in wheelchairs and scooters, and parents with small children, as well as provide a safer environment for maintenance workers.

“Retaining the unique experience of the breakwater was an important consideration in designing this safety upgrade,” said Curtis Grad, GVHA president and CEO.

“In selecting a handrail design, GVHA was very conscious of preserving the spectacular views while providing the necessary protection for the public and our maintenance team.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

What do you think?

Give us your comments by e-mail: editor@vicnews.com. All letters must have a name and a telephone number for verification.

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

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read