Colwood’s mayor has hit the brakes on a motion to close a portion of Ocean Boulevard to traffic on weekends during the summer.
Although Martin put forward the motion to be discussed at the next council meeting, he had a change of heart upon hearing feedback from the community.
“I had received several emails from residents requesting it, so I thought it would be appropriate for council to have a discussion,” Martin said, explaining his initial rationale. “The advantage of making a Notice of Motion is it allows the public an extended period of time to discuss before it even arrives at the council table.”
The motion, if approved, would have closed a 400-metre section near the middle of Ocean Boulevard next to Esquimalt Lagoon between Friday afternoon until Sunday evening during July and August.
“Following a number of emails and comments posted on social media, it became clear that residents prioritized keeping the road open to through traffic vs. creating a pedestrian plaza that allows families to interact without cars passing by,” he explained.
Having heard the concerns of residents who wish for the road to stay open to through traffic, he withdrew the notice of motion and the potential change will not be discussed at council.
Martin thanked Colwood residents for their thoughtful comments and arguments.
“As mayor, I believe my role is to present ideas to the community that may be creative and challenging, and then listen to the community,” he said. “I would hope we can continue to have interesting dialogue without personalizing the issue. It is the goal of all of council to create a community we all wish to live in. We can have differences in opinions and still be respectful and kind. I see it every day in my community.”
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