The city is receiving accolades for changing Fifth Avenue downtown from parallel parking to angle parking.
Two local organizations, Downtown Prince George and Tourism PG, have given their support to the change, which was implemented earlier this year.
“We appreciate that angle parking increases the number of on-street parking, accommodates faster and easier parking, and calms traffic by narrowing the street,” wrote Eoin Foley, president of Downtown Prince George in a letter to council. “We believe that increased angle parking contributes to creating a better, safer and more accessible downtown.”
Foley said feedback from its members has been positive about the change.
“Having a beautiful, safe and vibrant downtown is vital to attracting visitors to our city. These improvements will help to slow the traffic down and make it easier to park in the downtown core, which encourages more shopping, dining and exploring by both visitors and locals,” wrote Erica Hummel, chief executive officer of Tourism PG.
Both groups, however, pushed for more improvements downtown. Both called on council to install a traffic light at First Avenue and Queensway.
Foley also added some other requests for council which included adding planters along Fifth Avenue and painting the bulb-outs created at the end of each block, complete angle parking proposals on Second Avenue and Seventh Avenue, convert Second Avenue to a two-way street, and include four-way stops at appropriate intersections.
Coun. Jillian Merrick said that a traffic light at First and Queensway should be a high priority for the city. Director of engineering Dave Dyer said the project is already underway.
Coun. Brian Skakun expressed some concern about the bulb-outs created to accommodate the angle parking.
“My concern is the way we’ve tied up traffic,” said Skakun. “One vehicle can stop traffic from going straight through, turning right, turn left. It really creates a bottleneck.”
He also raised a concern about snow-clearing in the winter, asking whether the bollards installed will come off for snow clearing and whether it will be more labour intensive, in the long run, to remove them for snow clearing.
Dyer said the hope is to have full bulb-outs installed, as at other locations in the city. That, however, will cost $3 million, which could be phased in.
“This was an attempt to delineate safe crossing for pedestrians at these intersections,” he said.
Mayor Lyn Hall said other communities have gotten creative in creating bulb-outs, adding communities in the Okanagan have used wood from heritage buildings to dress up the bulb-outs.