Businesses and residents who live in the east end are weighing in on how the City of Regina should move forward with construction near Eastgate Drive.
A public consultation was held Monday night to figure out how the city can proceed with road-widening and bridge replacements along Victoria Avenue without permanently closing a portion of Eastgate Drive near Coleman Crescent, which the city was originally recommending.
“If you’re closing that permanently, what other choices do you have?,” questioned Reed Andersen, who lives in the area.
Andersen was among those seated at round tables with large sheets of paper in front of them, asked to provide feedback to city administration.
“It’s worth coming in as well because I understand there are business aspects, there are business concerns, but the concerns of residents in the area too are things like ease of access and safety.”
He explained how it’s all interconnected. That is, if businesses are doing well, other businesses want to do well there too and that attracts people willing to spend money.
A number of shop and restaurant owners have expressed opposition to closing the road, explaining how sales are dropping and would likely drop further if customers’ access is restricted. Businesses brought those concerns forward to city council last week, where it was decided the matter had to be looked at more closely.
The city’s executive director of transportation utilities Karen Gasmo provided three options that would serve as short-term fixes. One of the options would provide a temporary east and west access across Pilot Butte Creek connecting Coleman Crescent and Eastgate Drive.
At a similar consultation Friday, Gasmo indicated this was the preferred option.
Andersen and the rest of the room Monday agreed they could live with the option too.
“I’m agreeing with what the city has now. It’s designed to be a temporary solution,” he said. “It reinstates exactly what we have right now which is maintaining access on the north service road.”
Staff will compile the feedback and suggestions and submit a recommendation based off of this to city council during a special meeting Thursday. Gasmo said a long-term plan for the location is something administration will have to develop and bring back to council again, likely in the spring.