top of page

The Intersection of Victoria Crescent and Esplanade

Recently this intersection underwent some renovations. The renovations did little to improve the pedestrian, or cycling experience. but the design did address an issue related to vehicle traffic. The effort highlighted some of the weaknesses associated with employing traffic engineers to do the work of planners and urban designers. There is still some work to be done here which could be finalized as part of program to subject the streets in this area to a street diet. Reducing the traffic lane widths from a typical 3.65 m (12 ft.) to 3.2 m (10.5 ft.) and parking lane widths from 2.5 m (8.3 ft.) to 2.3 m (7 ft.) would increase street area dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists significantly. This standard would make intersections smaller, safer and more comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists.

As well, on portions of the street where parking is not allowed amenities that pedestrians or cyclists could use should be added; such as seating, planters, bike shelters, and bike lockers, to name a few. Also ramps that lead up to off street parking need to be placed in the parking lane and not on the sidewalk. If there is not a parking lane and a ramp up to off street parking the only a portion of the sidewalk needs to be dedicated to the ramp, as the ramp is not required for the entire width of the sidewalk. 


The renovation of this intersection speaks to one of the significant issues that planning in this area has to address. That is, the culture of city hall is still very much car oriented. Even though cars and the traffic they create, and the parking they require, are recognized as liability to the economy of this area and most other parts of the city and pedestrians are an asset to the local economy the recommendations of traffic engineers still dominate the design of all our public spaces. This domination limits all efforts to revitalize our downtown economy. For the success of our downtown economy the city must reorganize itself so that planning becomes the primary tool of management. Urban designers and traffic engineers are hired as advisors as required.


bottom of page