Letters March 18: Richardson Street divide; kudos on interchange; Heart Flag appreciated

Bottleneck coming if Richardson work is done

Re: “Why the Richardson Street bike plan needs rethinking,” commentary, March 16.

I completely agree with Chris Foord’s article on the proposed disastrous bike lane for Richardson Street.

article continues below

This plan will cut off all people in South Oak Bay travelling to the downtown core and create a huge bottleneck in traffic on small residential streets. This is a plan that creates a big transportation problem.

I urge the council to rethink this plan. Bicyclists in Oak Bay do not have a ­problem now biking downtown, but they will when this bike lane is built, as car traffic will be winding through all the small lanes of Oak Bay trying to ­manoeuvre around the bike lane.

Victoria council, save your money and put it toward something that is needed, such as low-income housing.

Lynne Milnes
Victoria

Full support for Richardson plan

Re: “Why the Richardson Street bike plan needs rethinking,” commentary, March 16.

We live on Richardson Street, and will be most affected by the new plans, which we fully support. The hysterical rant from the Oak Bay resident, foaming at the mouth over what Victoria council is “doing to” us, was utter nonsense.

Richardson Street has been a speedway for commuters for decades, making it unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists.

We have both been hit by vehicles while we were cycling on it. This route will become part of a network that will promote active transportation in the entire area, and much consultation was done before it was approved.

We participated in multiple engagement opportunities, including a two-hour walk-along with neighbours and city ­planners.

The pandemic has revealed a latent demand for cycling and walking infrastructure that cities all over the world are now struggling to meet. We are fortunate that our city council has had the foresight to put the safety of eight-to-80-year-olds first.

Janet Simpson and William Scott
Victoria

Leave it alone, it feels safe now

Re: “Why the Richardson Street bike plan needs rethinking,” commentary, March 16.

I am a senior cyclist (though not quite the 80 years old that they are purporting to cater to!) and find no problems cycling the full length of Richardson Street on a regular basis.

My experience is that both motorists and cyclists are respectful of each other on that road, and it feels safe. I live on Moss Street which is already a thoroughfare of vehicles driving too fast (accelerating away from those annoying four-way stops!) and I dread the increased traffic as a result of the proposed diversions.

As Chris Foord stated about in his recent commentary about Richardson: “There is no problem on this street and there never has been.”

Victoria council, please leave Richardson well enough alone.

Louise Mcgillivray
Victoria

Don’t be frightened by bike and roll routes

Re: “Why the Richardson Street bike plan needs rethinking,” commentary, March 16.

The evidence is overwhelming that creating All Ages and Abilities (AAA) bike and roll routes, 24/7 bus lanes, and pedestrian priority areas makes cities healthier, more pleasant, and reduces greenhouse gas pollution.

Jane Jacobs wrote about how closing a road through a New York City park reduced traffic in the surrounding area in her 1961 classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Now, we have piles of studies and many examples of traffic “evaporating” or “disappearing.”

When I lived in Vancouver, the first AAA bike routes were highly controversial and many pundits predicted traffic chaos. Instead, bike and roll routes have become very popular and traffic volumes dropped on routes into the core.

If you make it safe and pleasant to travel by bicycle, mobility scooter and walking, that is what people choose to do. And driving usually takes about the same time as before.

Our decisions should be based on evidence and experience, not irrational fears.

Eric Doherty
Victoria

Consult more, do not build it yet

Re: “Why the Richardson Street bike plan needs rethinking,” commentary, March 16.

I support safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians, but the Richardson Street plan will create safety problems ­elsewhere in Fairfield, Gonzales and Rockland.

This level of neighbourhood redesign also deserves at least the same notice and opportunity to comment as a public hearing to rezone property. It’s not too late.

The city should put the plan on pause, develop a revised safe and direct bike, pedestrian and vehicle plan for all users and hold a public meeting for input on the plan.

Steve New
Fairfield

Traffic will move to other streets

Re: “Why the Richardson Street bike plan needs rethinking,” commentary, March 16.

As a resident who lives across from one of the schools on Fairfield Road, I am very concerned about the impact the change to Richardson Street will have to the level of traffic on an already busy road.

I have raised my concerns with the city about the plans for Richardson, only to be told the plan has been approved. Approved based on what? There has never been any consultation with me or any of my neighbours.

The plan is ridiculous with no or little concern it will have on the community.

Thomas Lacey
Victoria

High praise for new McKenzie interchange

Kudos to all involved in the planning and construction of the McKenzie Avenue interchange.

Construction was delayed, but we understand that kept the cost close to the budget during a period of rapidly escalating costs. The highway flows well in all directions and the landscaping and bus stops are well done.

This was all achieved while keeping traffic flowing throughout the construction period. A good job all around.

Mike Martyn
Victoria

New Heart Flag is appreciated

Thanks to the Times Colonist for the refresh of the Heart Flag. I have my ­original and it still looks pretty good.

I will just add the new copy to my ­collection of hearts on our windows. As you say we do need a “refresh” after a year of COVID-19 and even with the ­vaccine rollout we still have a way to go.

The Times Colonist has been a “lifeline” for us throughout this pandemic. Over this year, the informative, reassuring and compassionate columns that you and all your staff writers have contributed has been much appreciated.

I look forward to seeing the declaration on the front page that COVID-19 is over!

Hopefully, that’s not too far away.

Thanks again. ♥

Glenn and Carolyn Parks
Nanaimo

SEND US YOUR LETTERS

• Email letters to: letters@timescolonist.com

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist