Moncton's Main Street meters get mixed reviews

Temporary metered parking being offered on both sides of Moncton's Main Street in a bid to draw more shoppers downtown is getting mixed reviews from business owners and motorists.

Business owners say they're a perk for downtown, motorists say traffic too slow

Downtown Moncton Inc., is conducting a survey of local business owners this week to get feedback on whether temporary metered parking being offered on both sides of Main Street should become permanent.

Meanwhile, some motorists say the street is too narrow, traffic is moving too slowly, and the new lanes are confusing.

The City of Moncton put the curbside parking in place in July in a bid to draw more people to shop downtown.

"I think it has been a perk for the downtown," said gift shop owner Steve Clerk, who was originally dead set against the idea of Main Street being metered.

Shopper Elianne Richard is also pleased.

"I feel it's great because it's convenient," she said. "Before that, you always had to find a little side street and if you did park for a minute, they would lock your wheels."

But cab driver Robert Duguay isn't impressed.

"It really snarled traffic, worse at four o'clock. Four o'clock was absolutely ridiculous," he said.

The pace is improving, said Duguay, but some drivers are still confused over which lane to use when turning on and off of Main Street, he said.

Duguay contends the city could have done a better jobs of directing traffic with better signage.

Downtown Moncton Inc.'s executive director, Anne Poirier Basque, suggests people who are in a hurry should simply bypass Main Street and use Assumption Boulevard instead.

"That is a very accessible route and that's what is was designed for," she said. "It's a thruway and another way of getting through the downtown if you don't want to stop and look at what's going on."

The temporary curbside parking will remain in effect until at least March, but could become permanent if approved by city council in the spring.

Downtown Moncton plans to survey 500 businesses.