Public can help shape changes to Uptown corridor

Online survey collecting input until May 4 on Uptown Douglas Corridor in Saanich

Changes are taking shape in the heart of Saanich’s central core that will help shape future growth for the district and ease congestion through the main transportation hub for the Capital Region.

The District of Saanich is in the midst of a review of the Uptown Douglas Corridor, designed to guide planners on mapping out a future for the area which is expected to see an influx of 4,000 residents and 5,000 workers over the next 25 years.

The plan’s focus centres on three areas: mobility, urban use and green space. The public’s voice is integral in the process to ensure residents share the vision for the neighbourhood. A series of public consultations have been held in recent months, with an online survey collecting input until May 4 at www.surveymonkey.com/r/YRYCD97.

While the plan is designed to look at the area over the next 30 years, many changes are already taking shape. Work got underway this week on a pedestrian-activated crosswalk to allow pedestrians to safely cross Blanshard Street between Ravine Way and Saanich Road. The project, funded by Morguard Investments which owns the Uptown shopping centre, is expected to be complete by the end of May. Work is also nearing completion on a project to improve access to Uptown from the Galloping Goose trail (this one funded in part by Uptown). A four-metre wide pathway at a more accessible grade and an additional stairway will improve access for cyclists and pedestrians between Carey Road and the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails which run below.

And those changes will only become more pronounced in the years to come, with plans for an 11-storey residential tower at Uptown as well as the massive Nigel Valley redevelopment which would see up to $100 million spent over 15 years to provide more than 400 units of affordable and supportive housing.

There is no way to get around the massive changes that are coming to the Uptown Douglas Corridor. Saanich residents can’t turn back the clock on those changes, but they can be sure to share their views on what those changes include and how they impact with the community they call home.