Victoria council is upholding its partial ban on vehicles in Beacon Hill Park, despite accessibility advocates hoping for a change.
Coun. Stephen Andrew proposed reversing a decision made last May to keep cars out of the park on two roads and give pedestrians more room for physical distancing.
In November, the ban was eased after overwhelming opposition to the road closures.
On Thursday, council voted against Andrew’s proposal, with only Coun. Charlayne Thorton-Joe, Marianne Alto and Andrew in support.
It means that Arbutus Way at Southgate as well as Chestnut Row and Bridge Way will remain closed to vehicles.
Accessibility advocates like David Willows had hoped access would be restored, as his son Nick, 7, has genetic conditions and cerebral palsy that require him to use a wheelchair.
Willows says council doesn’t realize the effect the decision has on people with disabilities.
“They closed off the road past the playground in the centre of the park, which is where the closest thing to an accessible washroom is in the park, and there used to be an accessible parking space right in front of that,” he said.
“I don’t think those in the City of Victoria, I don’t think they have anyone on staff right now with a disability where they’d even have the context.”