Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shelbourne Corridor

There has been some planning exercises being done by Saanich about Shelbourne street - the Shelbourne Corridor Action Plan. While it is nice that Saanich is finally sitting down and thinking about Shelbourne, they are not doing in the manner that makes sense to me.

Shelbourne is not just a Saanich street, it is a Victoria one as well. The two local governments should be doing this jointly as what one does effects the other. The planning should be running from Bay Street all the way up to Mount Doug. But it seems Saanich will go it alone.

They are hosting a virtual open house with materials about the corridor. The 20 page pdf does provide some good background, but even here they act as if the world ends at the Saanich border. You can not make a good plan if you do not work with the whole area you are looking at.

So what would I like to see in this corridor?

It strikes me that what makes the most sense is a dramatic increase in density along Shelbourne. What I would see are buildings 4-8 stories tall all along the corridor. I see them coming close to the street, but allowing for much larger sidewalks and ideally a bicycle lane. They buildings would be ground floor retail and then either office commercial or residential above them.

The corner of Shelbourne and Cedar Hill X road is under developed. I would see that area have a dramatic increase in density. I would also see that area have some light industrial, nothing big and dramatic, but the sort of light industrial that allows for warehousing and small manufacturing. The existing Shelbourne Plaza would be a good location for this.

I note that this area in Saanich has virtually no industrial lands and therefore has to rely on neighbourhoods further away to service the community.

Any long term vision should keep in mind that if Greater Victoria ever does build rail based rapid transit, Shelbourne would be a very good location for a line running from Downtown to UVic. With a higher density of people along Shelbourne, there may actually be enough transit use to warrant the construction of a line.


This Sunday there will be an event called "Our Human and Natural History" at 2 pm at St Aidan's church on St Aidan's Street. I would love to go, but I will be at a meeting of the Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers at the same time.



On May 3th at 7 pm there will be a meeting for stakeholders at St Aidans

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