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.

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

Most Read