Opinions split on Victoria breakwater handrails plan

Greater Victoria Harbour authority to install safety feature on Ogden Point icon

Photo shows what the Ogden Point breakwater will look like with new handrails installed.

If the jury of social media can be trusted as an authority, the community is pretty evenly divided on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s plan to put guard rails on the Ogden Point breakwater.

One thing is crystal clear, however: everyone has an opinion.

“Maybe fill in the water area around the breakwater with soil, and then put cushions out to soften any falls,” wrote David Coney on the Victoria News’ Facebook page, with just a hint of sarcasm. “And we could have chaperones for everyone. And helmets and lights and pre-walk safety information sessions. With maps in case anyone gets lost, and a full medical team on 24-hour standby, of course.”

While many fellow commenters bemoaned the encroachment of the nanny state, a slight majority celebrated last week’s GVHA announcement that it intends to install the new safety feature.

“Great idea!” wrote Tiffany Haarsma. “I fell off when I was about five. Great opportunity for people with disabilities, elderly who may feel a bit unstable and anyone with a disability (to have) more access. Parents with small children won’t need to worry so much … they can just enjoy the walk.”

The diving community also sees the plan as a boon.

“They’re considering putting in a staircase at the end,” said diving instructor Keelan O’Connell at Ogden Point Dive Centre.

Right now, divers lower themselves onto the granite blocks below the breakwater. The stairs will make access easier for divers and tourists alike, he said. “It benefits us.”

The harbour authority plans to begin work on the project early in the new year. The walkway will be closed to the public for eight to 12 weeks during construction.

The goal is to give greater access to people in wheelchairs and scooters, and parents with small children, as well as provide a safer environment for maintenance workers.

“Retaining the unique experience of the breakwater was an important consideration in designing this safety upgrade,” said Curtis Grad, GVHA president and CEO.

“In selecting a handrail design, GVHA was very conscious of preserving the spectacular views while providing the necessary protection for the public and our maintenance team.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

What do you think?

Give us your comments by e-mail: editor@vicnews.com. All letters must have a name and a telephone number for verification.

Just Posted

Saanich passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

VIDEO: Tent city moves to Woodwynn Farm, arrests made

The group is asking the government to provide housing for 60 tent city members

Cougar spotted Saturday morning in Saanich

Police found paw prints consistent with cougars in the area

Colwood Elementary gets new inclusive and accessible playground equipment

Parks and playgrounds on the West Shore have equipment for everyone

B.C. Guide dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers

Labrador retrievers need to learn obedience and socialization before heading to work

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read