More vision needed for Whistler Street design

There is a sense of community and liveliness about these places.

More vision needed for Whistler Street design

Re: redesigning Station Street park and Whistler Street

I visited the talk by Mark Lakeman when he presented the ideas for improving the current dormant/unfinished areas of Whistler Street and Station Street. His talk was enlightening, his ideas inspiring. I left with the hope that the city of Duncan can come up with the funds and the guts to implement many of his recommendations.

Particularly interesting was his concept that the buildings between Trans Canada Highway (TCH) and Whistler Street should be moved closely toward the TCH (How do we do that?) with parking only on the Whistler Street side, and create a wider area along Whistler Street. This wide area can hold various outside seating for restaurants and cafés, a broad sidewalk, trees, and still have parking for vehicles. There was even space for a kids playground. This would make Whistler Street a warm, inviting place to shop, meet the community and to just hang out.

Nearby examples are Tuscany Village in Saanich or W 2nd Ave. in Qualicum Beach, and even these can be improved on. The only way I can see this happening is if the City imposes a building-scheme that restricts any future renovations/rebuilds to a certain footprint and to a certain look. Historically, this is met with resistance since nobody wants to be told how to do something. However, if pulled through, most residents and visitors will love the charming street. The time-span for this to happen will be long, since exiting owners/investor-groups would carefully consider doing any work unless they see a return for their investment.

Nonetheless, eventually it will happen and once this progress has started and the area becomes more “trendy and desirable”, more owners of existing buildings will be willing to tear down what’s there to create new, up to code structures with shops below and residential housing on top. It’s been done all over the world in many cities and the results are that these urban centres are a more livable and friendler. It also attracts tourists.

The renderings on the front-page of the Cowichan Valley Citizen, Sept. 17 do not show an inspiring concept. All I could see was some patterns on the street, some string lights, and sea-cans? with benches in front. While this might be better than nothing to get the ball rolling, the overall plan will have to allow for more integral structural changes. I encourage the city planers to look at Google street-view at some Italian and other European plazas. Once COVID-19 is contained, I encourage the same persons to visit these said areas, sit there, sip a cappuccino or another preferred beverage and watch the world go by. There is a sense of community and liveliness about these places. This should do the trick in convincing any nay-sayer.

Harry Eisinger

Cobble Hill

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bob Day is the new mayor of Lake Cowichan. (Citizen file)
Bob Day wins byelection for Lake Cowichan mayor

Former councillor edges former mayor by 19 votes; final results pending

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Soccer ball stock shot
Quw’utsun FC improves to 2-0

Five different players score in win over Peninsula

Carrots from seed harvested in 2018. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Carrots: from seed to storage

Our sandy soil dries out quickly and I find I can sow carrots usually mid-April

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read