Yesterday afternoon, I used the two elongated appendages attached to the lower part of my torso to transport myself to the Cornwall Centre to attend the open house that the City of Regina was hosting to initiate the first stage of the Downtown Transportation Study. When I arrived, I found ten panels set up on easels in the courtyard leading to the mechanical contrivance that moves people between the first and second floor of the mall without the necessity of them expending any energy other than that required to remain upright while they are ascending/descending.
As I observed in an earlier post on the DTS, the focus in Phase 1 is on short-term improvements to traffic flow on 11th and 12th Ave. The latter, of course, currently suffers from the arterial blockage known as City Plaza. With parking and left-hand turns permitted on 11th, meanwhile, that avenue tends to suffer from sluggish circulation, especially during peak traffic periods tied to morning and evening rush hour.
When viewing the panels, which outlined the current situation, and offered possible options for City Plaza (ie. remaining closed to vehicle traffic, being open to either one-way or two-way traffic when not being used for public events, being open to traffic at night, etc) two bits of information jumped out.
First, with two office buildings under construction in the downtown (at Hamilton & 12th and Albert & 11th), and several other office and residential projects in the works, the number of people working (and to a lesser extent living) downtown is expected to increase by around 5,000 in the next few years. Second, at present, transit accounts for six-per cent of work trips and three-per cent of overall trips to downtown Regina. This doesn’t mean that all other trips are motor vehicle-related as some Reginans who live in surrounding neighbourhoods access the downtown by walking and cycling. But the vast majority of trips would presumably be in automobiles.
I couldn’t find an on-line version of the form that IBI Group were inviting people to fill out at the open house, but if you wanted to e-mail comments to the consultants before the March 9 deadline you can do so at [email protected]