Johnson Street bridge public spaces a ‘canvas’ for future

Councillors split on views of potential landscaping design

The design for landscaping features as part of the new Johnson Street Bridge is progressing

Staff called the furnishings selected to surround the future Johnson Street Bridge ‘simple, but elegant.’

Some Victoria city councillors, however, felt the design for these public spaces wasn’t inviting enough.

“I see it as very antiseptic,” Coun. Pam Madoff said at last week’s governance and priorities committee meeting.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe chose softer words, saying she wanted to see more elements with “a sense of play and fun.”

“We actually feel that way in the bridge office everyday,” retorted Dwayne Kalynchuk, bridge project director.

“We’re being very mindful of the budget,” he said, adding fun items, such as public art, can be added later. The designs, he qualified, are not the construction plans and can still be altered.

Coun. Shellie Gudgeon, who lives in Vic West, where much of the future landscaping will take place, was positive about the plan.

“What I see in these drawings is you really did listen to the public input,” she said. “I see a nice canvas to be added to in the future. It’s got lots of potential.”

rholmen@vicnews.com