The City of Victoria initiated the Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Plan in early 2015 with the goal of enhancing the pre-existing Residential and Industrial character of the area by focusing on sustainability, connectivity, and creating a more vibrant community. This process was the first of eleven neighbourhood plans to be completed over a three year period, and served as a “template” for subsequent plans.
Early on in the process it was determined that transportation issues were a significant concern for this neighbourhood and our team was engaged by the City to undertake a comprehensive transportation study. This project, similar to the Victoria West Transportation Plan our team developed in 2008, involved a technical assessment of resident requested traffic calming and crosswalk locations, reconsidering the priority sidewalk improvements from the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan, and an assessment of long-term capacity and laning requirements at key intersections. Short-term (“interim”) and long-term (“ultimate”) streetscape design concepts were developed for five key corridors in the neighbourhood (Gorge Rd, Burnside Rd, Government St, Bridge St, Jutland Rd) that spanned almost seven kilometres. A significant component of the designs was reflecting the City’s desire for All Ages and Abilities cycling facilities, while respecting the function of certain corridors as higher-order transit routes and key goods movement corridors. We also undertook a subsequent analysis of trucks route criteria and the truck route network in this area to determine if the City could reasonably “undesignated” certain truck routes to support livability and pedestrian realm objectives in two identified Urban Villages.
As part of the Plan process, the WATT planning team led a series of community walking tours (“walkshops”) focused on street design, and participated in open houses, workshops, and extensive stakeholder outreach.