Drivers in downtown Moncton are getting used to a new traffic pattern after the city eliminated turning lanes on Main Street in an effort to add more than 80 parking spaces.
The new parking spots are a part of a pilot project aimed at adding more downtown parking.
Stephane Thibodeau, the city’s transportation co-ordinator, said the city will see how the new arrangement works over the next year.
He said the city will be looking at two issues: how parking will work with public transit and how it will go in the winter.
"What are the differences of trying to snow clear Main Street with parking on the street clearing the areas where the meters are at and so on so that's going to be the true test the winter months," Thibodeau said.
The city unveiled a new parking plan in May, which was intended to help revitalize the downtown.
Downtown Moncton Inc., a local business organization, has been pushing for more on-street parking in the city.
Even though there are thousands of parking spots in the downtown, most are for monthly or long-term parking.
Anne Basque, the organization's executive director, said people often complain about the lack of downtown parking in the city.
"A lot of our citizens were saying we don't want to go downtown because we don't like to park in those structures. Parking is behind the buildings they don't feel that it’s accessible and this is what we as a board of Downtown Moncton really pushed for," Basque said.
Store owner likes changes
Stephen Clerke has owned Gifts Galore, which is on Main Street, for 27 years. When he first opened his doors, Clerke said there was parking on both sides of the street.
But that was scrapped to make way for more traffic. Now the parking spaces are back and Clerke said he couldn't be happier.
"Having the extra spaces gives our tourists that chance to see where the parking is," he said.
"So when a tourist comes to town and says, ‘Where can I park.’ It's visually there and so they can see it, zip in and get their gift and get back out again. So it's a very convenient thing to do."