On Tuessday, October 8th 4:30-6PM at the Mary Winspear Centre, there will be an open forum for information on Beacon Avenue with respect to two-way versus one-way traffic. This forum is open to ALL Sidney businesses, hosted by the Sidney Tourism Improvement Group (STIG). There will be people and resources to give you background, provide understanding and answer your questions. Come share your views and support this issue moving forward toward a resolution. Food and beverages will be available. There is no cost for this event.
Positive effects of returning to two-way traffic for the full length of Beacon Avenue are:
- Traffic calming
- Easier access for visitors
- Overwhelming research showing economic benefit for a two-way main street vs… one-way
- Increased pedestrian safety
- Intuitive two-way traffic pattern vs.. non-intuitive one-way
- Doubling drive-by exposure for Beacon Ave. businesses
- Increased bike safety
There will be no substantial changes to the appearance of Beacon Avenue:
- Street parking will remain the same, except the north side of Beacon Avenue parking spots will now face West
- Streetscape and sidewalks will remain the same to continue encouraging pedestrian traffic and an appealing street view
- The Summer Market, Torque Masters Car Show and other events will continue as they have with easier access for participants
And, the costs of returning Beacon Avenue to a two-way street are relatively low and easy to do, for $50,000 to $70,000:
- removal of one-way/do not enter/no turn signs and street sign poles (the streetscape view will even be prettier and less cluttered to look at!)
- line painting and chevron transition markings to align two-way traffic
- removal/reconstruction of sections of corner bump-outs between Second and Fifth Streets
- modification of signal installation at Fifth Street
- cost range includes a 35% contingency
The main street of Sidney will become more inviting, easier to get around, less confusing to visitors and residents alike and support easy access to the businesses on the street.
Jennifer Margison says
I attended your Oct. 8 meeting regarding the proposal to turn the entire stretch of Beacon back into a two-way street. I was very surprised to see that there was nothing in your proposal that would benefit pedestrians or cyclists wishing to have a pleasant experience shopping in Sidney, even though you were showing a film that highlight bike lanes in NYC. I feel that what you are proposing will do nothing for businesses in Sidney; quite the opposite in fact. Funneling yet more car traffic up Beacon will only make for an unpleasant car-dominated experience for everyone. I am surprised that so much energy and time is being directed to such an old-fashoioned, simplistic and narrow approach. We need much broader, more creative ideas to ensure that Sidney and all the wonderful businesses in our little town thrive. Much is happening elsewhere that Sidney can borrow from and continuing to give precedence to the car is not one of them. People value Sidney because it is NOT downtown Victoria and it is uniquely positioned to move towards creating an even more unique shopping and socializing experience, only possible by getting people OUT of their cars. I hope your group will re-consider their approach.
Steve Duck says
Hello Jennifer … we couldn’t agree with you more! The purpose of the forum you attended was to clarify the information currently available to Sidney businesses. The concerns that any change to Beacon Avenue will result in loss of the existing streetscape, parking spots and sidewalks needed to be addressed. The goal, which has been initially achieved, is to start the dialogue about bringing change to Sidney’s mainstreet. As an avid cyclist myself, I won’t cycle Beacon Avenue as it is due to the risk involved. Yes, it is important to make the street more appealing for pedestrians and cyclists. Is it two way car traffic alone? Not likely. Its about two way all the way – easy access for all from any direction. Thank you for your thoughts and vision. Let’s try to get the residents, businesses, and our municipal representatives to begin the process of change. That is the current challenge, not one-way versus two-way traffic.
Jennifer Margison says
Thanks for your response Steve. I did notice in your profile that you are an avid cyclist, am I. So I am a little confused about what TIDES is proposing as the two-way change for Beacon is the only change that you and your group has been associated with in news coverage and was the only thing proposed on the info boards at the Oct. 8 meeting. Can you tell me what other ideas you are considering?
Steve Duck says
Thanks for your follow up Jennifer. As the facilitator of the Sidney Tourism Improvement Group, TIDES furthers the goals of the businesses involved. The group wishes to enhance access to Sidney through improved streets and signage, along with street appeal and customer service. So, the perspective of just one-way versus two-way is only one avenue the group is pursuing. The intent of the forum was to provide clarity to the existing information and initiate the discussion of downtown revitalization. The media have certainly picked up on this aspect. The information boards simply defined the extent of the conversation to date. As you saw, the videos gave examples of what can be, as exists in other communities. Small steps to help people think outside the box.