Queen Charlotte tries to curb parking problem

  • May. 16, 2003 9:00 a.m.

Two of Queen Charlotte’s biggest problems-parking and driving-intersected at the May 7 management committee meeting.
The snarl of traffic along Bay Street and the higgledy-piggeldy parking in front of City Centre are perennial problems the management committee wants to resolve.
“The gist of it is the whole place is a safety hazard because we don’t have sidewalks and the shoulder is used for parking,” says committee chair Ron McKee.
Mr. McKee met with Ministry of Transport representative Don Ramsey recently for a tour of Queen Charlotte’s traffic problems, especially the congestion around the community hall.
Traffic at the hall needs to be safer and more efficient, says Mr. McKee, because it’s the disaster evacuation point for Queen Charlotte hospital, as well as the hub of many community activities. He wants to link Third Avenue to Bay Street by building a one-way road between the DFO office and Sears. As well as rationalizing the traffic flow around the community centre, the new loop would hopefully reduce the number of cars driving through the residential area of Bay Street, says Mr. McKee.
Meanwhile, committee member Eric Ross has been working on a solution to the City Centre parking problem.
Pedestrians cannot walk safely from the community centre ball field to Meegans store because the shoulder of the road is used for parking, says Mr. Ross. He suggests creating a promenade along the waterside of the road by placing cement barriers along the while line of the road. However, this could narrow the road and actually worsen the parking problem. So, at the same time, Mr. Ross is proposing the creation of new parking by filling in the old road in front of the school district office with gravel.
The other committee members thought Mr. Ross’s idea was great. Dick Mountifield and Mr. Ross agreed to create a more detailed plan for the committee to consider.
At the same meeting, the committee read a letter from resident Kathleen McPhee describing yet another driving danger in Queen Charlotte. The twisty section of road in front of the community daypark “remains a very dangerous area to walk along because of the vehicles an boats parked along the road, combined with the curve of the road,” wrote Ms McPhee on behalf of the community club to Al McKean of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. The community club has requested no parking signs in front of the day park several times, but so far no action has been taken, and they hope Mr. McKean will take some action soon to improve safety in this area.
The committee doesn’t plan any action about this traffic problem, since the letter was not addressed to them, but Mr. McKee said he had mentioned the area to Mr. Ramsey during their meeting.
“I felt that if he [Mr. Ramsey] can do something about something, he’ll do it. We started driving around and as I pointed things out, right away he started taking notes. Of course he was visiting every other place on the islands, so he’s probably got pages of notes,” says Mr. McKee.