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Victoria looking into reopening Beacon Hill Park road to traffic

Staff will report to council on July 22 with road reopening plan
Victoria council seeks to reopen a section of Bridge Way in Beacon Hill Park to vehicle traffic. The roadway has been closed since last year due to distancing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy City of Victoria)

Victoria city staff this week will be looking into the feasibility of reopening a section of Beacon Hill Park’s Bridge Way with two-way traffic.

Staff will see if the two-way traffic can flow safely on the road, one of several that have been closed to vehicles since early in the pandemic, before reporting back to council with a reopening plan on July 22. The section of Bridge Way, between Arbutus Way to Heywood Way, won’t be open to vehicles before then.

The move stems from a motion brought forward by councillors Stephen Andrew and Charlayne Thornton-Joe at the July 15 council meeting. That motion sought the reopening of Arbutus Way, Bridge Way and the 100-metre section of Heywood Way, between Heywood Avenue and Bridge Way – all of which were closed to traffic in the spring of 2020 to support physical distancing.

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The two councillors’ motion also said the Beacon Hill road closures restricted people living with physical disabilities from accessing certain facilities and amenities in the park.

Council supported an amended version of the motion. It directs staff to work with the disability community to provide equitable access to facilities and amenities in the park, reduce the impacts of motor vehicle traffic on all park users and to ensure any future closures adhere to B.C.’s human rights legislation.

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