Locals want pedestrian path along Bowker Creek at Oak Bay Recreation Centre parking lot

Ruth Currey, left, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Ruth Currey, left, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Ruth Currey, a member of Friends of Bowker Creek stands by Bowker Creek near the northeastern corner of the Oak Bay Recreation Centre's parking lot. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Ruth Currey, right, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff) (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Ruth Currey, right, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff) (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Ruth Currey, front, and Ian Graeme stand by a thin foot path along Bowker Creek near the north edge of Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s parking lot. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Ruth Currey, front, and Ian Graeme stand by a thin foot path along Bowker Creek near the north edge of Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s parking lot. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

As Oak Bay prepares to resurface some of its recreation centre’s parking lot, some locals want the project to include a pedestrian path along the section that borders Bowker Creek.

The creek runs for about 100 metres along the parking lot’s north edge and there’s little space to walk between its banks and a row of parking spaces.

Ian Graeme hopes council will reconfigure the parking lot to better utilize the creek’s ecology and connect it to the more developed creekside walkway to the east.

The north edge of Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s parking lot.(Jake Romphf/News Staff)

“I think it’s a big opportunity to do things differently,” Graeme told council during its April 26 meeting.

Just east of the lot is a paved path that runs between Oak Bay High School and various recreation facilities.

Graeme hopes a new path could be a safe connection to the already revitalized walkway along Bowker Creek for seniors and those with mobility issues.

“Something you could do with very little expenditure is rededicate some of those parking spaces adjacent to the creek and just make that a safe, connecting pathway,” Graeme said.

“If you had this better linkage via this continuous walkway, I think there would be some real benefits there.”

READ: Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Council adopted the 2021 to 2025 financial plan on May 10. The plan includes $350,000 to repave the centre’s upper and lower parking lots this year.

The work will start in June but will be limited to the lower section and some minor patches on the upper level. Daniel Horan, Oak Bay’s director of engineering and public works, said that’s because they’re waiting on some assessment results that are needed to better understand what work the creek’s south bank, along the parking lot, will require in the short and medium term.

“The project may include a path, bank remediation, or other (items) as the detailed design work is completed – but as nothing can be done without financial approval, it was important to have this in the approved budget,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch, in an email.

Graeme said the creek is a “wonderful natural fixture running through the neighbourhood,” but the stretch along the parking lot isn’t currently very esthetically pleasing, which one Oak Bay councillor agreed with at the April 26 meeting.

“That particular stretch of Bowker Creek, I’ve always looked at with a little bit of sorrow because it has such potential,” said Coun. Eric Wood Zhelka.

READ: Oak Bay declares a decade of ecological restoration

Ruth Currey, a member of the Friends of Bowker Creek, said locals are very invested in the creek, and a path linkage from the parking lot would enhance the whole area.

“It could be such a community draw,” she said.

Horan noted council will get a report this summer that will spur the “bigger picture” plans for the creek.

READ: Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

oak bay

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Days after students’ return to Victoria High School was delayed by a year, the province has announced some amenities that will be included in the school’s expansion project. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Child-care spots, artificial turf field, non-profit space included in Vic High expansion

SD61 now aims to welcome students back at the high school by September 2023

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
UPDATE: Search suspended for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person altercation at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

Most Read