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605converting a curb parking spot to a park

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  • Sunny
    May 27, 2006
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      Chris, it would be great if you could provide more information on the
      Byward Market conversion thing, I have done a research in a similar
      issue, pedestrianising a street in Bangkok, and I found that the
      retailers were more positive after conversion and the sales volumes even
      increased. But there was also a program in BKK of closing a street for
      traffic on the weekends and as far as I know it was not a success.


      Chris Bradshaw wrote:
      > The idea of temporarily converting a curb parking spot to a park was tried
      > in Ottawa by our Car-Free Ottawa group in the early 1990s. We did it
      > in the
      > Byward Market in the Lower Town area, and the result was anger by nearby
      > merchants that they were losing customers by converting a parking spot for
      > cars to a spot for parking our various "human-powered vehicles."
      > There was
      > also a visit by a parking control officer threatening to issue a
      > ticket (to
      > what vehicle owner?) for not using it for its intended purpose.
      > Frankly, I am more comfortable with converting parking spaces than
      > converting through lanes, or closing off a street completely.
      > Last year, I lead the effort in our neighbourhood for car-free day that
      > targeted neither the through lanes nor street parking spaces. Instead, we
      > cordoned off -- with the City's O.K. --the portion of the parking lane
      > that
      > was closest to the corners, the 9-metre section that is not marked for
      > meters, and is used for short stops be delivery vehicles and taxis. Those
      > sections I have proposed for "bulb-outs," curb extensions that reduce the
      > crossing width for pedestrians and provide sidewalk bulges for benches,
      > newsboxes, and for people to wait to cross without blocking the through
      > section.
      > We converted the 10 or so spaces along our main street (Bank Street) for
      > public activities, such as booths, musicians performing, and a couple
      > artists. It was well received, although plans for this year have not
      > started.
      > It was possible only by moving the day to a Saturday, when the curb lanes
      > are not converted to through rush-hour traffic, since such activities
      > would
      > have taken away the entire lane.
      > Chris Bradshaw
      > Ottawa
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