In an effort to lower conflicts between off-leash dogs and pedestrians, Victoria Council has voted to put up a fence along Dallas Road walkway.
It’s another busy day along the Dallas Road walkway for those with two, and four, legs. Victoria Council voted Thursday, however, to provide some separation between pedestrians and some of man’s best friends.
“My plea yesterday to council was can we at least find 5 votes to do something?” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “Cause we know there are lots of people that don’t go down there anymore because they don’t want dogs jumping all over them.”
With council’s 5-4 vote, a similar split rail fence to the one that sits on the south side of the path along the bluff will go up on the other side of the walkway, stretching between Beacon Hill Park towards Clover Point as part of a $60-thousand dollar, year long test to see if it lowers feisty encounters between dogs and people along the walkway.
“We’re just saying if you want your dog on the pathway, on a leash. If you want your dog to run freely, just on the other side of the fence,” added Helps
What to do along the pathway for everyone’s safety has been debated for three years, but Councillor Margaret Lucas believes more planning is needed.
“We have cyclists, we have pedestrians and we have dog owners and I don’t think we were able to meet the needs of all three.”
News of this fence going up is not seen as a necessary move by those on path Friday morning.
“I think it’s going to restrict people in here, you’re going to get a sort of a chute effect, it’ll be like cattle along here,” said one man
“You see seniors walking their dogs, so it’s an easy straight along path, there’s no up and down and now they’re forced into the weeds, right? Or people in wheelchairs, you see that a lot too,” said another gentleman walking a dog.
“Sure you’ll put a fence up, but you still have dogs on the sidewalks. I’m not sure it would accomplish anything, unless there’s enforcement. And when you speak to the enforcement people they say, well, they don’t have time, they don’t have enough staff,” another another woman on the walkway.
However, bylaw enforcers will be on hand after the fence has been put in place.
“Suggesting how the dog owners can keep the dogs away from pedestrians, keep them on a leash in the areas where they are supposed to be on a leash,” said Lucas.
Helps adds, “We’ll have opportunities for feedback, boards right out there on the walkway. Do you like this? Do you not? what else do you think we should do?”
Council will get an update on what impact the fence has along the path in six months.