Moncton may create downtown ‘pedestrian promenade’
Downing Street, a small, dead-end street, is an exit to a parking lot
Moncton is looking at transforming Downing Street into a walkway connecting city hall and the Petitcodiac River.
The proposal, which will allow city staff to examine different concepts and costs for turning Downing Street into a pedestrian- and cycling-friendly corridor, was originally defeated by councillors.
However, Coun. Dawn Arnold said city council reconsidered the plan once they were given additional details of what staff were requesting.
"Downing Street has great potential because quite frankly, right now, if you're in downtown Moncton and you want to get to the riverfront you need to walk through a parking lot," Arnold said.
"So it's such a great opportunity and especially with all the surfers on the river I can feel it everywhere I go people are so psyched about the river."
Downing Street is a small dead end street between the Moncton Public Library and the Delta Beausejour hotel that serves as an exit to the parking lot.
Arnold said between the new excitement surrounding the surfing of the tidal bore and Moncton's upcoming 125th anniversary in 2015, "the sky's the limit" for the site.
"It can be definitely a pedestrian promenade…as far as trees and flowers, and art and a really excellent way to really celebrate our river," she said.
No cost estimates
The motion will give staff the chance to start exploring development options.
There are no cost estimates at this point because a detailed plan has not been designed.
Arnold said there could be federal funds that could be sought, especially with the city’s upcoming anniversary.
Coun. Paulette Theriault was one of the city politicians who switched her vote between the meetings and now supports the idea.
"Upon further reflection and public feedback received on this motion, I believe council should reconsider Downing Street gateway," she said.
The motion was accepted unanimously last week.
Arnold said the city has had four major public consultation initiatives in recent years and each time Downing Street was identified as a street to develop.