Victoria council is considering permanently closing a portion of Broad Street to cars.
A motion from Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Jeremy Loveday coming to council Thursday cites a petition from Broad Street businesses asking for permanent pedestrianization of the 1000-block of Broad Street. A petition attached to the motion shows support from Pagliacci’s restaurant and Burr.
The block was pedestrianized in spring 2020 as part of the Build Back Victoria program, an initiative created to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Broad Street block received lighting, benches, a planter and a Little Free Library. Government Street was also pedestrianized at that time, allowing businesses to expand onto sidewalks, streets and parking spaces.
Helps and Loveday asked to see the changes extended to the end of 2021, with future investments included in the appropriate 2022 budget documents, work and capital plans. The businesses on the block have stated their desire to participate in future place making efforts, the motion says, “including working with the (Downtown Victoria Business Association) to develop hyper-local branding for the street as has occurred on Lower Johnson (LoJO) and Fort Street (Fabulous Fort).”
“By signaling council’s support for the ongoing pedestrianization of the 1000-block of Broad Street, businesses will be given more security in their planning.”