Public works that meet the needs of residents
(“No pothole left unfilled”)
- Enhance budgets for roads, sidewalks, active transportation, accessibility, maintenance
- Renew public gardens to support the moniker ‘A City of Gardens’
- Encourage more urban food gardening
- Ensure responsive services that meet the needs of residents
- Ensure predictable, transparent public works service delivery
- Undertake a master plan service update for the Victoria Fire department
The heart of everyday city life is the quality, accessibility and utility of its public services and infrastructure. These last couple of years have taken their toll on the city. Redirecting resources to respond to the pandemic left our streets and public spaces a little worn. It’s time we invest in more care and maintenance in our public infrastructure. Our roads need more paving – and our potholes need filling! Our sidewalks need smoothing, filling and their adjacent hedges need pruning. Active transportation has been well served by increased bicycle infrastructure, but we have work to do creating accessible travel routes for mobility scooters and wheelchairs, and travel spaces for other wheels like skateboards, segways, and hoverboards.
Public Works crews operate at the heart of our city to keep Victoria running smoothly and improve our quality of life – keeping our streets clean, our garbage collected, our underground system running smoothly. We need to put more resources into these services to ensure the city runs efficiently, dependably. Getting the work done on schedule, and communicating that schedule to the public, makes it easier for residents to rely on those services and accept interruptions and delays when they happen.
When services break down, repair needs to be available quickly. Residents need predictable response times, easy ways to find out how repairs are progressing. We can enhance our web capacity to provide real time updates for repair and maintenance projects, so residents can plan their travel and daily activities.
Victoria is a city of gardens, and we should take a little more time and money to make it grow green again. Climate adaptation and a growing respect for Indigenous plantings, and how they manage remarkable resilience in the face of hot and cold weather events, have necessarily moved us to plant fewer exotic plants. That said, there are many options still available for diverse species to create colourful, beautiful gardens. The city’s urban gardening programs and policies can also be enhanced, to expand plant diversity so they are not just beautiful but are also utilitarian in their capacity to grow food.
The Victoria Fire Department has served the city for over 150 years. The Victoria Fire Department’s current headquarters, Fire Station No. 1, is being replaced by a new Headquarters, complete with an Emergency Response Centre and mixed housing, including 130 units of affordable housing operated by Pacifica Housing. Commercial and retail space and a public plaza are also planned at the new location on Johnson Street. As Vic Fire moves in to this remarkable facility, it is timely to consider what the department needs to deliver its best possible service.