5.08.2009

Downtown Plan Released


The much anticipated Downtown Neighbourhood Plan: Walk to Work is available in full on the city website. As mentioned in Prairie Dog: the Paper, it will go before Planning Commission on May 13 and, if approved there, before city council on May 25.

Don't know how anyone was supposed to find this. It was very well hidden. The link supplied above will save you the trouble of hunting.

If you get a chance to peruse its many pages, let us know what you think.

3 comments:

ColReid said...

Most of the plan is pretty good, but I feel that there are a few key things that prevent Downtown from really thriving:
1) There is no expressway that leads to Downtown. The whole "walk to work" and "pedestrian oriented" idea sounds good but I imagine that this town will still be a "car town" for quite some time. It is prohibitive and frustrating to drive downtown... in a city so small it ought to be possible to get there in ten minutes or less. The current CP tracks would be a great place to put an expressway. Saskatoon has the Idylwyld and their downtown is pretty lively. I don't think it's a coincidence.
2) All the talk of "excellent transit service"... I'll believe it when I see it. From my place, it takes 45 minutes to get to downtown by bus. This is absurd. There are parts of the city that are completely unserved by the busses, while at the same time there are several bus routes who have a clone that simply travels in the opposite direction. Ludicrous. There HAS to be a better system, and when we find one, watch downtown become more vibrant. There is this awful catch-22 with the busses; improvement isn't happening because ridership is down (which creates a lack of money to throw at the problem), but ridership is down because improvement isn't happening. I don't know; if you build it, will people come? The city seems afraid to make this kind of gamble. I do know that if you don't build it, people won't come unless they feel forced to.
3) Everyone complains that there is not enough parking downtown. Yet ironically, downtown is full of parking lots. A few years ago, a parkade was torn down and replaced with ground-level parking.... that was a step in the exact opposite of the right direction. Replace a couple of the ground-level parking lots with parkades, and this will create more parking AND allow the city to fill the "holes" created by many of the ground-level lots.

The Plan has some great ideas in it though; I like the idea of trying to make the streets more pedestrian-friendly in the winter.

So we'll see where this goes. I have cautious optimism.

Paul Dechene said...

Interesting points, ColReid. On parking and transit, I'm with you 100%. But have to say I disagree with you on the expressway idea. I've found that I can drive from one edge of the city to the other along Albert in about 20 minutes. That seems pretty express to me. I've never understood these claims that it's difficult to get around Regina by car. I don't drive often, but when I do it's painfully apparent this city is made for motoring convenience.

Saskboy said...

I'm not in favour of the trainyards being ripped out, I think rail line abandonment has been a huge mistake and failure when it's taken place already.

We need bus service more like Ottawa's but without the month long strike. More station hubs with direct connections.