One-way proposal supported

Making Gaetz Avenue a complete one-way road in the downtown appealed to people who attended an open house on Wednesday about the city’s Gaetz Avenue Revitalization plan.

Making Gaetz Avenue a complete one-way road in the downtown appealed to people who attended an open house on Wednesday about the city’s Gaetz Avenue Revitalization plan.

Currently the block between Ross Street and 49th Street is a two-way road.

Jim Thoreson said eliminating the two-way was a good idea.

“It makes good continuity from one end to the other. The one short block is no big deal,” said Jim Thoreson at Wednesday evening’s open house at Gaetz Memorial United Church.

The city is concerned that the two-way street is allowing vehicles to easily circle the area if they are looking for illegal drugs or sex trade workers.

Andria Klatt said switching it to a one-way will make it a safer place.

“I think it will reduce the number of people driving around without a legitimate purpose downtown. I think it will be safer for pedestrians,” Klatt said.

The $8.6-million revitalization plan is intended to give the stretch of Gaetz Avenue between 53rd Street and 46th Street a facelift and bring increased pedestrian traffic to the historical and contemporary area.

Sidewalks would be widened to allow for additional landscaping and amenities.

Shortening pedestrian crossing distances would slow vehicles.

Crossing areas are highlighted with a distinct pattern of coloured paving stones to increase the visibility of pedestrian crossings at mid-block points.

City council has already approved the overall revitalization plan, but wanted more input from the public on whether to change the two-way road.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said he prefers the one-way option because the two-way street adds confusion to the circulation of traffic and the one way will also improve downtown safety.

“It became a block where people just went around and around and around. This way there’s no loop to go around that’s quite so comfortable.”

Monday is the deadline for comments on the eliminating the two-way. The issue returns to council in February.

Revitalization construction will begin this year. For more details go to www.reddeer.ca/gaetzrevitalization.

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