By Schnarr, J.W. on May 12, 2018.
The City is moving ahead with line painting on 6 Street South in the downtown core after pressure from stakeholders in the area.
The area features the only perpendicular street parking in the core. The paint marking the stalls along the street has long since worn off, causing confusion among drivers regarding spacing and the correct way to park. It is this lack of clarity which can lead to a mix of angle and perpendicular parking, or other issues related to drivers being unfamiliar with the area.
The Lethbridge Downtown Business Revitalization Zone had been asking for the lines to be repainted, but the City has resisted. Currently, it is studying parking in the core to look for efficiencies.
Ted Stilson, executive director for the BRZ, said he suspected a combination of pressure from local businesses and the BRZ, along with potential media pressure, led to the City’s decision.
“I’m just happy the City is taking the time to listen to business owners downtown,” said Glen Fenimore, owner of The Stoketown Cafe + Cure.
“I think it’s going to have a positive impact on business.”
Ahmed Ali, the City’s Transportation Engineering manager, confirmed Friday morning the City was going ahead with plans to repaint the lines on the block.
“Because sixth street is very unique, it’s more like a meeting place for people, and there’s a lot of commercial happening – also, it’s 90-degree parking,” he said.
“I agree with the BRZ that people might get confused.”
“I’m very happy the City is listening to business and property owners,” said Wallie Desruisseaux, owner of Kapow Comics, Cards and Games Ltd. He praised the City for recognizing the importance of the improvement to those businesses.
‘It’s good they are listening to their taxpayers,” he said.
Stilson said he suspects the prospect of media coverage on the issue might have changed the City’s mind.
“I think they used common sense and asked why they’d want to stir up a hornet’s nest,” he said.
Stilson said he also suspected City and council or City administration would move to have the lines painted rather than deal with potential community blowback.
“I think they really want to have this whole thing go away in the easiest, simplest, (way),” he said.
No timeline has been set for the painting to be done.
“We will do it as soon as possible,” said Ali. “We’re working on it now.”
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