Expanded sidewalks will remain on Oak Bay Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)

Expanded sidewalks will remain on Oak Bay Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)

Pedestrian safety changes in Oak Bay become more concrete

Bad drivers can’t crush Crescent Road sidewalk changes

Pedestrian safety changes on Crescent Road remain in place, with an eye to potential permanence.

During its Oct. 25 meeting, council looked at widening measures in two areas of Oak Bay, put in place as emergency measures took hold in spring 2020. Under the direction of Oak Bay’s Emergency Operations Centre at the time, staff used plastic bollards and tape to delineate temporary sidewalks on Oak Bay Avenue to allow more room for physical distancing.

In February of this year, council approved similar spacing on Crescent Road scheduled to be removed by Dec. 31 unless council provides further direction.

The changes on Oak Bay Avenue garnered positive feedback, but the public response was less enthusiastic for Crescent. The district received correspondence requesting it be removed because of a “negative impact on driver behaviours in that neighbourhood.”

RELATED: Oak Bay defers sidewalk changes debate as council meeting runs late into the night

With Dec. 31 approaching, staff presented a report that suggested keeping the extra space on Oak Bay Avenue – with upgrades – and removing the Crescent Road work. Council opted to keep the changes in both locations.

The temporary nature of the changes on Crescent will be reviewed in context with other pedestrian issues in the community, as part of a streets and sidewalks master plan expected before council next year.

While not providing specific direction, council also questioned if overgrown greenery continued to be a problem in that neighbourhood and options to pursue any needed management.

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