JANIS RINGUETTE: To stop ‘the construction of a freeway through the north end of Beacon Hill Park… the Beacon Hill Park Association was organized in December 1970… under newly elected president Bernice Packford’

BERNICE LEVITZ PACKFORD’S

LIVING LEGACY TO VICTORIA

 

Victoria resident and activist Bernice Levitz Packford‘s major role in stopping the construction of a freeway through the north end of Beacon Hill Park should not be forgotten.

That successful campaign is one of Packford’s major contributions to our community.

The freeway plan was approved by Victoria City Council in 1968.

It was a real threat.

Plans included constructing a new bridge across the Inner Harbour at Laurel Point to route traffic from Victoria West through James Bay onto  a four-lane Michigan Street freeway extension heading eastbound through the north end of Beacon Hill Park, then into Fairfield and north on Cook Street.

The plan would have cut the park in two.

A pedestrian walkway over Michigan was planned to link both sections.

The Beacon Hill Park Association was organized in December 1970 to stop the freeway.

Newly elected president Bernice Packford said, “Our fundamental objective is to educate our own members, the public and civic officials so that they will preserve and extend Beacon Hill Park in the spirit in which it was originally given to the people of Victoria.”

By February 1972, the association had grown to 750 members.

It waged a relentless and effective media campaign; members picketed in Beacon Hill Park, and they worked to elect Councillors opposed to the freeway.

The transportation plan was voted down by a new Council in 1973.

More details can be found online at:

http://www.beaconhillparkhistory.org

 

Janis Ringuette

Victoria

 

CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Bernice Packford and Beacon Hill Park

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Page A11

CCC

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One Response to JANIS RINGUETTE: To stop ‘the construction of a freeway through the north end of Beacon Hill Park… the Beacon Hill Park Association was organized in December 1970… under newly elected president Bernice Packford’

  1. David says:

    It’s a good thing Bernice was successful, although I suppose the scenery on the drive home would have been nice.

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