The next phase of public consultations for the Central Avenue redesign project is underway.
Four possible options have been set out by the city’s planning and development project for public feedback, each with a slightly different driving and parking configuration that either favours traffic, parking or pedestrian space.
The arrangements include the current one of two lanes of traffic and parallel parking on both side, two lanes of traffic and parallel parking on one side (more sidewalk space but less parking), one lane of traffic and angle parking on one side (less driving space, more sidewalk space and about the same amount of parking) and two lanes with angle parking on one side (less sidewalk space but about the same amount of traffic and parking space).
While none of those options are necessarily what the city will choose going forward, they reflect what planners heard during the first phase of consultation. The first phase had people rank different features, businesses and priorities of a newly designed downtown.
“We got over 500 responses (in the first round),” planning and development director Craig Guidinger said.
“It was very revealing to us. It told us that people want change. They want to be able to socialize in our downtown. They want to see more sidewalk cafés, smaller restaurants and shops, and however Central Avenue can be designed to accommodate that .it seems people support that.”
The first phase also asked people to comment on other downtowns they like, or components they would like incorporated in Prince Albert.
“We got many, many examples,” Guidinger said.
“Some of them we can do in Prince Albert, and some we can’t due to circumstances such as weather and those types of things, but the options presented provide opportunities for more pedestrian mobility and more of a social atmosphere.”
The second phase took those topics results and incorporated the feedback into the four options. Once this phase of consultation is complete, the city will sit down with the consultant, discuss the themes and start working towards a final design.
“The most popular option may not necessarily be what is final,” Guidinger said.
“It just points us in the right direction. Maybe one or two of the options will be combined based on the feedback we receive. It’s just another set of information we’ll be using toward the final project.”
Guidinger said his department will keep the public and city council informed and involved in the decision-making process.
The survey can be found at https://www.letstalkprincealbert.ca/