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Should Government Street become a pedestrian boulevard?

Government st Poll Pedestrian new urbanism Government street pedestrian mall

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Poll: Should Government street become a pedestrian boulevard (91 member(s) have cast votes)

Should Government street become a pedestrian boulevard from Yates street to Humbolt street (Allowing restricted single lane traffic)?

  1. Yes (55 votes [60.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.44%

  2. No (24 votes [26.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.37%

  3. Depends (12 votes [13.19%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.19%

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#501 Nparker

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:00 PM

Why do people always have to go to extremes? It's either pedestrians only or cars only in your world?

Because despite a century of evidence to the contrary, the two are incompatible in the CoV.



#502 Cassidy

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Posted Yesterday, 07:03 AM

Ah well then just rip up those useless sidewalks. And widen the road. Should improve things there a lot apparently....

Ahhh, you mean like it was for 100+ years prior to the "malling"?

 

Prior to the mall, Government Street was a vibrant, pedestrian heavy street that had a multitude of shops featuring goods for not only tourists, but for locals as well. It was a brilliant contribution to the vibrancy of the downtown core (both day and night, and year 'round.)

 

It was also very well traveled by cars, as it proved an excellent, and very much preferred method for folks to drive from the city proper down into (or out of) James Bay.

There are many who can vividly remember Government Street in its "pre-mall" days, folks who rightfully question the often highly inaccurate information posited when discussing "what was", "what is", and "what could be" as relates to Government Street.


Edited by Cassidy, Yesterday, 07:04 AM.


#503 G-Man

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Posted Yesterday, 08:05 AM

This is an interesting thread to read.

I have to say, Dasmo, I love the idea of it. I am not sure if you were involved in any of the pop up closures last year along Government but they did not instantly attract large groups of people. I do think that it could work eventually but there has to be a lot more people living in and around the area first. The second piece is to change Government so that locals want to go there. Currently it is not a draw for us.

The idea of creating more one way streets is one I cannot get behind. Two way streets are just way better for the feeling around a street so no thank you!
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#504 Nparker

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Posted Yesterday, 08:16 AM

...the pop up closures last year along Government...did not instantly attract large groups of people...there has to be a lot more people living in and around the area first. The second piece is to change Government so that locals want to go there. Currently it is not a draw for us...

This.



#505 Mike K.

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Posted Yesterday, 12:32 PM

The fountain on the Fort Street side of the Bay Centre is a pass-through space like all the other entrances. What gives it a little bit of life is the Starbucks and that’s it. Nobody lingers there or spends a lot of time there unless they’ve got a coffee and are sitting on the patio seats.

Wal Mart is such a huge draw that even if a coal mine were operating outside of its entrance people would linger there. It’s just a space where the primary parkade entrance is next to the largest single mass appeal retail space in arguably the entirety of the City of Victoria and Saanich (maybe even the entire CRD). That’s it.
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#506 aastra

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Posted Yesterday, 02:35 PM

 

...even if a coal mine were operating outside of its entrance people would linger there.

 

I feel like I should say, good spaces are still good spaces. You want good spaces. But even the very best spaces won't work without the people. And the thing is, you don't need massive mobs of people. You really just need a continuous turnover throughout the day.

 

Methinks any initiative to close Government Street should naturally be bound to a broader initiative to get more people living and working in the old town. The goofy thing is, the initiative to close Government Street and other streets has been advanced for 50+ years, and yet as far as I'm aware there has never been a strong initiative to get more people living and working in the old town. Heck, when Mermaid Wharf was originally proposed I remember quotes to the effect that politicians and planners were caught off guard by the very premise of it. And in the 2010s we're talking about finally doing something with the Wharf Street parking lots, but we're excluding new homes and offices right out of the gate.


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#507 aastra

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Posted Yesterday, 02:39 PM

 

...when Mermaid Wharf was originally proposed I remember quotes to the effect that politicians and planners were caught off guard by the very premise of it.

 

More recently, consider the complaints by the usual suspects against Chard's project on Broughton Street. Does that sort of opposition to a few new apartments really jibe with the vision to close Government Street?


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#508 Nparker

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Posted Yesterday, 04:56 PM

...Methinks any initiative to close Government Street should naturally be bound to a broader initiative to get more people living and working in the old town...and yet as far as I'm aware there has never been a strong initiative to get more people living and working in the old town...

Look at the nearly decade long struggle (so far) to get residences on the Northern Junk site.   :whyme:



#509 dasmo

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Posted Yesterday, 07:51 PM

Ok. We need more Walmarts, coal mines and highways downtown. Got it. I’m sold. When do we start!

Edited by dasmo, Yesterday, 07:54 PM.


#510 Mike K.

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Posted Yesterday, 07:59 PM

We need to accept ourselves for what we are and stop with pursuit to emulate select elements of societies that have nothing to do with who we are.

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#511 dasmo

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Posted Yesterday, 08:02 PM

@G-Man, not involved. Pop up is not a space maker so you can’t judge by it. If you could then I would bring up the busking festival then as an example. Packed....
I’ve been to so many pedestrian only zones in cities of all sizes all around the world and they have all be busy and successful. The reason I always like to bring up uptown is because their original vision was more pedestrian only. That was truly exciting. I’ve been to some malls like that and they are great. In the end it’s a good thing they didn’t do that. It would have hurt downtown big time!

#512 dasmo

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Posted Yesterday, 08:03 PM

We need to accept ourselves for what we are and stop with pursuit to emulate select elements of societies that have nothing to do with who we are.

What’s that? Monster truck driving, Walmart shopping coal miners?

#513 Nparker

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Posted Yesterday, 09:15 PM

...We need more Walmarts, coal mines and highways downtown...

All facetiousness aside, what would you propose for the Government Street realm that would attract Walmart-size crowds year round?



#514 Mike K.

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Posted Yesterday, 09:29 PM

@G-Man, not involved. Pop up is not a space maker so you can’t judge by it. If you could then I would bring up the busking festival then as an example. Packed....
I’ve been to so many pedestrian only zones in cities of all sizes all around the world and they have all be busy and successful. The reason I always like to bring up uptown is because their original vision was more pedestrian only. That was truly exciting. I’ve been to some malls like that and they are great. In the end it’s a good thing they didn’t do that. It would have hurt downtown big time!

We don’t need to be like the rest of the world. We just need to foster what has come naturally and build on it. Turning Government into a car-free zone for the sake of turning it into a car-free zone is kitsch when so much of what makes car-free zones successful elsewhere is hopelessly lost on Victoria.

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#515 Coreyburger

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Posted Yesterday, 09:38 PM

Allow me to present a completely different let's-make-transport-more-efficient viewpoint here: Government St should go back to being a full-time 4- or 5-lane road road all the way down to the Inner Harbour.

 

Then, turn it around: make Government St one-way inbound (i.e. going south) from Hillside to Belleville and make Douglas St one-way outbound (going north) from Belleville to Hillside.  That'll give enough space on both roads for all the bus lanes, bike lanes, and anything else anyone could ever want as a part of the street, while at the same time making it far easier to get into, out of, and through downtown.

 

Broad St as a pedestrian mall from Centennial Square to Broughton would make sense except that it's broken up by the Bay Centre.  Another option, perhaps more feasible, would be to make Wharf St a bike-and-pedestrian-only route from Yates to where it meets Government...or leave just one vehicle lane over that stretch going one-way southbound.

 

Never going to happen. Aside from the fact that four lane roads are dangerous, traffic volumes into the downtown core have been dropping. And the costs would be huge.



#516 dasmo

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Posted Yesterday, 10:13 PM

It’s not lost at all. Our European scale and structure to downtown comes from the fact that it was developed before the car era. It’s this pedestrian nature and walkability that makes it a tourist attraction and a draw for tech firms and other businesses...

#517 Mike K.

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Posted Yesterday, 10:44 PM

What makes pedestrian promenades successful are lax liquor laws and a burgeoning nightlife. Victoria has very strict liquor laws, pubs close at midnight, nightclubs are disappearing and new establishments are mired in controversy while police object to them even opening.

We’re not a “fun” city in the sense the European cities we're trying to emulate are. Let’s focus on broadening downtown’s entertainment options so that those over 25 aren’t more likely to spend an evening holed up at home than they are meeting with friends to take in the night life on more than a rare occasion and in a way that they don’t feel like they hit the rewind button with every outing.

I mean heck, we can’t even decide whether we want a casino downtown after spending years trying to woo a casino downtown. If that doesn’t spell Victoria...

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#518 Nparker

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Posted Yesterday, 11:44 PM

...Aside from the fact that four lane roads are dangerous...

Fact?  As a pedestrian I cross Quadra and Blanshard virtually every single day. I feel no less safe doing so then when I cross Government Street.



 



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