With a newly revamped, scaled back pilot parking project announced for the Avenues, what happens after that? The city has acknowledged there are many more streets that pose a risk to public safety because they're too narrow for normal traffic flow. What happens to those streets?
Last night, they approved the new parking rules for ten blocks that are less than 7.3 meters wide, prohibiting flow of traffic when vehicles are parked on the street, specifically fire trucks.
Council tossed around a few ideas at Monday night's meeting to discuss the project, and Councillor Don Mitchell, who very vocally led a charge against using a local improvement project for cast iron replacement, says an LIP could be the answer.
"Street widening, as a local improvement project, does fit for neighbourhood issues," Mitchell said. "But, it seems to me that might be an option on those particular streets that are narrow and we're looking at one side."
Councillor Dawn Luhning also expressed interest in exploring a local improvement project for widening the streets. She, and others, expressed concern that limiting parking to one side of the street isn't really a solution, but it is a start as they try to address the safety issue of emergency vehicles not being able to fit down the heavy parking area. Luhning suggested street widening be done in correlation with the cast iron water main replacement.
"If any of (the streets) on the cast (iron), I think there is some merit in adding that those streets be widened when the cast is done. And also, if we could move those areas ahead in the cast iron program."
Councillor Chris Warren believes a large factor in the congestion, remains squarely with Sask Polytechnic charging students for parking.
"When I went to...it was SIAST at the time, in 2004, (parking) was free," Warren said. "I don't think I ever had to park on the street. Obviously I would encourage us as council and the administration to continue to work with Sask Polytech on what we might be able to mitigate these parking concerns. But again, I think it's not something we can solve all at once."
Administration has told council that Sask Polytechnic has expressed little to no interest in changing their policy.
There has been no date for enforcement of the new parking project, since a new bylaw must first be drafted.