Tree vs cyclists in capital

An iconic tree at one of downtown Victoria's busiest waterfront intersections will soon be cut down to make way for cyclists.

But an advocacy group says the tree is too important to lose.

“We see this tree as symbolic of the way we tend to pay lip service to the climate emergency,” Janet Simpson of The Community Trees Matter Network told CTV News. “The main problem in losing this tree is the statement that it makes to the world about how we value or don’t value our urban forest.”

The City of Victoria says the tree will be removed by the end of the month to accommodate bike lanes on Wharf Street and to improve access to Victoria’s harbourside Visitor Centre. 

The reworked intersection will include a “scramble” crosswalk, that allows pedestrians to cross from all corners at once.

“While we are waiting for an update to the tree protection bylaws we need a moratorium on the cutting down of native trees, because in the meantime we are losing hundreds every year," said Simpson.

The city says it will plant two oaks elsewhere to replace the lost tree.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island


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