PEI

Businesses frustrated as council rejects Sydney Street pedestrian plan

Charlottetown City council rejects a resolution to turn a portion of Sydney Street into a pedestrian street this summer.

'We desperately need it this year with all that’s going on'

Mayor Phillip Brown says he'd like to see the conversation continued at a later date. (Shane Ross/CBC)

Restaurant and bar owners were denied after Charlottetown City council rejected a resolution to turn a portion of Sydney Street into a pedestrian street this summer.

The vote took place during a Special Meeting of Council Thursday evening. The proposed idea would have closed vehicle traffic between Olde Dublin Pub and Queen Street. 

"We desperately need it this year with all that's going on," said Kevin Murphy, the CEO of the Murphy Hospitality Group.

"I don't know how much more we can do."

'Very disappointed'

With the city beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions, he said all the merchants on the street were supportive of the idea which would hopefully bring more customers to local businesses. 

"Very disappointed," said Murphy. "We're trying to create more tourism products downtown and a place for visitors to visit."

All the merchants on Sydney Street supported the proposition to close vehicle traffic between Olde Dublin Pub and Queen Street, according to Kevin Murphy. (Ken Linton/CBC)

Safety officials, however, were concerned over a variety of issues including the width of the street and fire code compliance.

Murphy said "Yes, there were some inconveniences," but all the research had been done. 

"This is something going on now for a number of years and is being done across the country," he said.

'We've done it all'

As for Mayor Phillip Brown, he said he'd like to see the conversation continued at a later date. 

But Murphy doesn't know what more it will take to convince them. 

"We've done it all," he said. 

"When the decision came down, it was very, I guess, disheartening when what we're trying to do is make the downtown better."

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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