Victoria unveils new downtown public plaza, $5K ping-pong table
Victoria's newest public plaza officially opened Thursday.
The downtown plaza at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas streets features outdoor table tennis, new trees, benches, bicycle parking and improved pedestrian and bike crossings.
The city plans to distribute free table tennis paddles and balls to nearby schools, businesses, hotels and homes. A new mural will also be unveiled at the intersection next month.
The plaza's grand opening Thursday marked the completion of the main phase of the new bike lanes on Wharf and Humboldt streets.
"This is a new streetscape and plaza that we have created out of the roadway," said Victoria transportation manager Sarah Webb. "We've built a new space for people to hang out and enjoy."
The final portion of the Humboldt Street shared-use cycling path will open later this fall after underground infrastructure upgrades are finished, according to the city.
“This project has transformed the look and feel of this waterfront corridor," Mayor Lisa Helps said in a statement.
"It has improved road safety and has brought more vibrancy to one of Victoria’s most important streets."
But one group says that vibrancy comes at too steep a price.
The Grumpy Taxpayers of Greater Victoria complained about the cost of the ping-pong table.
The City of Victoria told CTV News the table cost $5,150 after taxes. The city also said funding for the plaza project came largely from the federal gas tax and not city property taxes.
B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the plaza and bike network is a sign of things to come for the province.
“Cycling is an affordable and environmentally friendly way to get around,” Trevena said in a statement.
“Our government is pleased to partner with the City of Victoria to help make this safe cycling route a reality. We will continue to work with regional, local, and Indigenous governments to improve road safety and road networks.”
Additional funding for the plaza and bike lanes came from the federal government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.