Sudbury city councillors want to continue experimenting with parking spots on Elm Street, despite complaints from residents and safety concerns from the roads department.

This past summer, the city opened up the 18 parking spots for a couple of months.

City councillor Jacques Barbeau is among those who want to give it another try.


Sudbury city council has yet to approve the operations committee recommendation to give parking on Elm Street another go. (Erik White/CBC)

"[I] can't believe I'm saying that, because only a year ago I was adamantly opposed to it," he said.

"But I think it's something we should look and could look at without causing too much grief to the city."

A second test-drive for Elm Street parking still needs to get a green light from all of Sudbury city council before going ahead.

'Do it as if we want it to succeed'

But city road engineers said last year’s parking experiment didn't work. They said drivers complained, the street was less safe and the parking spots were mostly used by people who work downtown.

While the parking spots were open, business owners like Jeff MacIntyre said he saw glimpses of an Elm Street that's for shopping — and maybe even living on — rather than the thoroughfare it is right now.

"We want foot traffic. I don't care if a million cars go down that street. It has no benefit to my business," he said.

City councillor Claude Berthiaume says he supports the downtown, but has to think of the people he represents in Chelmsford.

"There's 20,000 people who want to go from point A to point B," he said.

But the majority of councillors on the operations committee disagreed and opted to try out Elm Street parking for another two years.

Councillor Frances Caldarelli suggested staff could do this second experiment a little more thoroughly.

"We have to do it as if we want it to succeed," she said.

The parking spots won't be painted on Elm until all of city council approves this second test — and that's not a sure thing.

The last time this came up, the operations committee rejected the idea, only to be overruled two weeks later by the rest of council.