Cars banned as part of Government Street transformed into a pedestrian-priority zone

A section of Government Street has been transformed into a new pedestrian-priority zone as part of the City of Victoria’s Build Back Victoria program.

Effective immediately, Government Street between Humboldt Street and View Street will be closed to vehicle traffic between noon and 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

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Build Back Victoria is designed to help local businesses reopen and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Build Back Victoria is about supporting businesses to recover from the pandemic and creating more pedestrian-friendly public spaces for people,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “A designated pedestrian priority zone on Government Street is a strategic priority of council and will help increase foot traffic for businesses.”

Picnic tables, seating and planters have been installed in the corridor, with artwork installations and pop-up concerts featuring local talent planned over the summer.

The city is partnering with the Downtown Victoria Business Association to measure foot traffic on Government Street to help guide longer-term changes downtown.

Under the new program, Government Street will be open to private and commercial vehicles between 10 p.m. and noon. Emergency vehicles will continue to have 24-hour access.

The 900 block of Government Street will remain open to vehicles 24 hours a day to maintain traffic flow during the Customs House construction.

New passenger and commercial loading zones, and accessible parking stalls, can be found on and adjacent to the corridor.

To view a map of the changes and to learn more about the program, go to victoria.ca/buildbackvictoria.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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