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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 (107 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 (67 votes [62.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.62%

  2. No (27 votes [25.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.23%

  3. Depends (13 votes [12.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.15%

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#621 Cassidy

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:04 AM

I hadn't noticed Frankies on the sidewalk, but now that you mention it I do recall some construction work taking place around there a few weeks ago.

 

We'll see if another restaurant goes into Sams Deli space ... based on what I've read, that location has one of the highest rents in town, hard to make a go with food and beverage?

Same goes for Customs House, which I imagine will have rents just as high (or higher) than the old Sams. 

The above two "high rent" scenarios might actually be a good thing, as it portends discouraging "tourist" and "fast food" style restaurants in favour of high-end affairs that will be patronized by locals year-round.

 

I don't think anything Earls sells is fresh, it's all cooked and packaged in Vancouver. It's really just a fast food joint masquerading as a sit-down restaurant (as they all are, Vancouver Earls included). Only IMO of course, and I have eaten there a few times, as I'm not beyond the Montanas, Milestones, Earls eating experience if I'm in any sort of a hurry to get somewhere after eating.

 

Look ... I get that there are some sit-down eating spaces on Government Street. They've been there for close to two decades or more in some cases. I get that it would be cool if Government Street had true Eurpean style dining/drinking/coffee type spaces from one end to the other ... hopefully with no fences around the tables and chairs (not sure if fences are a Provincial liquor license "thing", or a COV by-law "thing").

But it's always a weather story in Victoria, no matter how hard you want to believe Government Street is a bustling, busy, pedestrian packed thoroughfare all year 'round. It's simply not that way at all but for a few months in the summertime, and a couple of weeks around Christmas.

 

Anyway, the above is all just my personal opinion, no need to bust a hump trying to prove me wrong ... I'll believe it when I see it, and you can remind me how wrong I was :)



#622 Mike K.

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:37 AM

It’s a weather story everywhere around the world, save for warm locations. The rest of Europe contends with far worse weather than Victoria does and for much longer periods of time. I sat on the Garrick’s patio in January during a sunny and comfortable 7-10C day. It was nice, you just needed a sweater. Sometimes staff will ask you to come inside to order if you want to be out there during less than hospitable conditions but at least they leave it open for those who’d like to sit outside.

I think a May-September trial could work and be fun. At least we’d know how it’s received. But considering how bad the traffic situation has become in downtown Victoria my appetite for a closure to traffic has definitely waned.

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#623 Nparker

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:44 AM

 

it's always a weather story in Victoria, no matter how hard you want to believe Government Street is a bustling, busy, pedestrian packed thoroughfare all year 'round. It's simply not that way at all but for a few months in the summertime, and a couple of weeks around Christmas

This. Do people believe further reducing vehicle traffic on Government Street is going to have an effect on seasonal weather patterns?

If the CoV really wants to "improve" the pedestrian experience along Government Street, I'd suggest they extend the current wide sidewalks/landscaping and encourage the sort of businesses that attract people year round on the section of the street from Yates north to Centennial Square or even Chinatown.


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#624 Cassidy

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:50 AM

There really isn't much of a "pedestrian experience" on Government Street currently, that is unless you're looking for a t-shirt featuring a smiling beaver wearing an RCMP Stetson ... or looking to purchase a $15.00 single scoop ice cream cone.



#625 sebberry

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:57 AM

https://www.vicnews....-priority-zone/
 
 

“I think we’ve been having the wrong conversation of cars versus no cars,” Helps said. “This isn’t meant to cut cars off, it’s meant to build on Government Street’s strengths, and limit vehicle traffic significantly so it feels your can just wander through a space made for people.”


Is Lisa softening her stance a little?

Geoff Young:

Something better instead of spending money working over and over again on the same five blocks of Government Street that have been working for 40 years is figuring out how to use our resources and planning resources to extend the concept to other streets, and make other streets work as well as gov street


We might find Geoff to be the most moderate on council this year compared to the likes of Together Victoria, but let's not forget is ties to Rob Wickson...



I think before we go and redesign Government Street we need to pour some black-top on Johnson St. The entire road now, from the bridge to Fernwood is a goat trail now from all the construction.

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#626 Nparker

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 09:25 AM

...I think before we go and redesign Government Street we need to pour some black-top on Johnson St. The entire road now, from the bridge to Fernwood is a goat trail now from all the construction.

As are about 50% of the streets in the CoV.* Let's face it, this council is never going to direct any additional funds to make things better for those who drive.

*Check out the abysmal recent paving job on Doncaster from North Dairy to Hillside. It looks like it was done by blind drunks in the dark who had never handled asphalt or paint before. I think Oaklands might be the goat trail capital of the CoV.



#627 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 12:33 PM

this is an interesting before & after video.  

 

it shows how removing traffic lights and signs and even crosswalk markings and signals can make intersections much safer and inviting for everyone.

 

Poynton Regenerated

 

video:  https://youtu.be/-vzDDMzq7d0


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 31 October 2019 - 12:36 PM.

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#628 tedward

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:17 AM

Wow, that is kind of mesmerizing watching all the traffic flow - after you get used to the left-side travelling.


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Lake Side Buoy - LEGO Nut - History Nerd - James Bay resident


#629 LJ

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:40 PM

I always find it funny in England, everybody walks on the right side of the sidewalks etc. then they get in their cars and go over to the left side.


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Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#630 Cats4Hire

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:20 PM

Surprised no one has posted this https://vancouverisl...overy-1.4969475

 

Government between Fort and View will be closed to all traffic except emergency and delivery vehicle until October


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#631 Spy Black

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:25 PM

It's all laid out and under discussion in another thread.



#632 On the Level

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:34 PM

Surprised no one has posted this https://vancouverisl...overy-1.4969475

 

Government between Fort and View will be closed to all traffic except emergency and delivery vehicle until October

 

Thanks for putting it in the correct thread :)

 

Yes....stupid.  Signal other to stay away unless they can walk or bike there when we are about to have a summer with no tourists.



#633 UserofVic

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 11:45 PM

There's no parking in front of the Bay Centre, the only section closed off, so the impact on drivers is negligible. It's basically extending Bastion Square a little. Honestly cars always felt out of place from Yates down to Wharf/Humbolt. The only parking along that section is between View and Yates which remains open to car traffic. Even closing it to general traffic from View to Wharf wouldn't make anyone walk further from their parking spot, since there's already none. The current smaller setup's not going to have a massive impact on drivers' ability to visit downtown, especially since this is temporary at the moment while traffic levels are down due to COVID.


Edited by UserofVic, 04 June 2020 - 11:57 PM.


#634 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 02:18 AM

Tony Guo, who manages the Bedford Regency Hotel, said the closure means his guests will no longer be able to use the zone outside the hotel to unload their luggage and check in.

 

“That will be a big impact on our business, if people don’t have access to that,” he said.

 

Jessica Walker, managing partner of Munro’s Books in the same block, said she’s willing to give the closure a try, providing it’s temporary.

 

“My overwhelming sentiment right now is that we need to do whatever we can to support our neighbours, particularly those in the restaurant industry,” she said. “And, despite my reservations, I’m willing to have it as an experiment.

 

“Many, many merchants on Government Street made it very clear that they wanted it to be a temporary measure [and] not commit to anything permanent, but that if there was a time to do any sort of a trial, this was it.”

 

Walker acknowledged, however, that she has concerns about pick-ups and deliveries at the store with the loss of loading zones in the block.

 

https://www.timescol...reet-1.24147018

 

Councillors Geoff Young and Charlayne Thornton-Joe opposed closing the block and possibly harming businesses that are struggling to recover. Thornton-Joe said all outlets should be allowed to conduct business to the best of their ability, rather than being the subject of an experiment.

 

“I don’t think we need to make winners and losers of our businesses,” she said. “The next few months are critical for all our businesses.”

________________________________

 

Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, said his members have opposed closing Government Street in the past, but many are now open to reducing the number of lanes as a way to allow for more patio and retail space.

 

“The main concern was allowing for passenger drop-off and deliveries, which is why one lane makes sense,” he said. “So the only thing that came as a bit of a surprise was the full closure between Fort and View.”

 

Bray said he had yet to speak with businesses in that block to gauge their reaction, but he’s confident city staff will be open to discussions if changes need to be made. “In general, we think creating more space for restaurants and others to be able to expand into the street will make Government Street really attractive for locals to come and spend a summer evening or a summer afternoon there.”


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 05 June 2020 - 02:19 AM.


#635 spanky123

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:37 AM

Closing the street between Fort and View is designed to discourage drivers from using Government at all. 

 

I think that many people would have been open to a debate on this but as usual the Mayor just tosses a controversial issue on to the agenda at the last minute guaranteeing that nobody has time to ask questions or seek answers before a vote. When it passes and folks ask what is up then the Mayor just states that "nobody complained" and that is that.


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#636 Mike K.

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:41 AM

If you’re heading for Vic West or anything west of Douglas during rush hour you’ll now have to take already congested Wharf, because you can’t then left off of Douglas, nor Blanshard. Quadra I think still permits left turns onto Yates or Pandora at all times, but driving to Quadra to then drive into the 500-block of Yates to use the parkade is nuts.

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#637 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:46 AM

i love how the dvba is left in the dark.  the entity that literally speaks for and is funded by all downtown business.


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#638 Cats4Hire

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:49 AM

If you’re heading for Vic West or anything west of Douglas during rush hour you’ll now have to take already congested Wharf, because you can’t then left off of Douglas, nor Blanshard. Quadra I think still permits left turns onto Yates or Pandora at all times, but driving to Quadra to then drive into the 500-block of Yates to use the parkade is nuts.

my brother used to work in a pluming office in Esquimalt and had somewhat regular calls in James Bay and Government was how he always got back. I just double checked and yeah assuming he didn't want to use Wharf due to congestion (which I'm sure will be even busier now) he'd have to go all the way up to Quadra. I just checked Google Maps using BC Museum to Crystal Pool and getting to Quadra always suggests using Superior to Blanshard than either Courtney or Burdett which isn't exactly the most straight forward path for someone taking calls on commission.


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#639 spanky123

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:50 AM

i love how the dvba is left in the dark.  the entity that literally speaks for and is funded by all downtown business.

 

Not only that but then Jeff Bray makes excuses for it and lets it go unchecked.


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#640 Cats4Hire

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:51 AM

Also curious how BC Transit will reroute the 10 route (no mention of buses being excluded that I saw). Just stick to Wharf in both directions? They just did a schedule change and I assume that will alter timing plus making people have to walk further or transfer at the Legislature if they want Douglas 



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