Basic Information about walking in and around Victoria
Victoria is a city that’s perfect for walking!
We take walking quite seriously, too! Because of that you should be aware that pedestrians have the right-of-way on most roads.
There are two kinds of crosswalks found in Victoria: controlled and un-controlled. Controlled crosswalks are activated by the pedestrian and will either be identified by a flashing yellow light above a painted crosswalk, or by a flashing green traffic signal that turns to solid green, then amber and then red. The flashing yellow signals are usually occur in the middle of roads while the pedestrian-controlled traffic signals will occur at intersections.
Uncontrolled crosswalks are just that … simply a series of white parallel lines going across the road
where a pedestrian can simply walk across. Most pedestrians are good … they will make eye contact with you and be sure you’re stopping before they step out onto the road. Unfortunately, some pedestrians (either distracted or oblivious) will just step out in front of you and expect you to stop.
Some areas in Victoria are notorious for pedestrians ‘darting’ out into on-coming traffic … Oak Bay being one of them. You need to keep a constant lookout at all times and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice! It makes for some very ‘interesting’ driving!
As well, each major intersection in Victoria has buttons you can push on the lampost to trigger the ‘walk’ signal. In the downtown core you’ll also hear ‘sounds’ to help visually impaired folks to know when they can walk. These signals will have a white ‘walk’ icon and then will change to a red ‘don’t walk’ icon and will often count down so you know when the signal will change from a green light to a red light.