June 19th was Victoria’s second annual Car Free Day. Once again the weather was great and people came out in droves to experience their city on foot. This year 220 people visited our booth and signed up to become part of our general membership–welcome and we look forward to getting to know you!
The most common place that Greater Victorians walk is to the grocery store, followed by the park/beach, work/school, bus stop, restaurants, and other shopping. Other places we didn’t include in our list but were named by respondents were the library, community centre playgroups, and recreational walking areas.
Respondents are generally willing to walk quite far–with the majority saying “no distance is too far”! When asked how many hours per week they walk, almost half said they walk over eight hours.
Respondents had a lot of ideas about what the #1 walking improvement in their neighbourhood would be. More crosswalks got the most votes, but here’s some of the items respondents themselves came up with:
- bus shelters
- cyclists off the sidewalk
- dog-friendly cafes
- dogs on leash
- better lighting
- construction detours
- beverage stop/food truck along Dallas Road
- for drivers to be reminded that any pedestrian at a crosswalk has priority
- less pavement
- protected walkways
- path between streets to connect our neighbourhood
- less obstructions (e.g., overgrown plants)
- improved sidewalk surface conditions for mobility devices (e.g., Fort Street)
- a pedestrian precinct downtown (Government St.)
- more trees for shade
- sidewalks (Gorge-Tillicum)
- micro-parks and placemaking
- more greenspaces
The wide variety of input reflects the diverse neighbourhoods and pedestrians of Greater Victoria.
Several people mentioned they’ve noticed overgrown shrubs in their neigbourhood blocking the sidewalks. Homeowners are required to keep those in check so sidewalks are accessible to all! If you find yourself stymied by an overgrown shrub or other obstruction, note the location/address and report it to your local government. Your fellow pedestrians will thank you!
Here’s where you can report obstructions for three of our local municipalities:
- City of Victoria: www.victoria.ca/EN/meta/contact/service-request-form.html
- District of Saanich: www.saanich.ca/living/about/organization/feedback.html
- Township of Esquimalt: Email firstname.lastname@example.org