Manager calls city's crackdown on cabs stopping in front of Regina bar 'ridiculous'
City creating new late-night taxi stands around the corner from O'Hanlon's
A heated exchange between bar staff and city parking enforcement officer over cabs stopping in front of a pub has spurred the creation of new late-night taxi stands in downtown Regina.
Jay Gwilliam, a manager at O'Hanlon's Irish Pub, said the incident happened Wednesday around 11 p.m. CST.
He said people were gathered at the bar for a screening of a documentary about the dangers of impaired driving. As part of the event, Regina Cabs was offering free rides home.
- Parking in Regina: Where, when and why you're getting tickets
- City of Regina looking at $10 parking hike
- Regina councillor wants corporate buss pass program for downtown businesses, Crowns
After the film was over, taxis lined up in front of the bar, located on the 1900 block of Scarth Street.
That's when Gwilliam said a parking enforcement officer came by and told the cabs they weren't allowed to stop on the street in front of the bar.
'Safety is our No.1 concern'
A video posted to social media shows Gwilliam and another member of the bar staff confronting the officer about taking issue with the cabs stopping to pick people up. The officer eventually drives away.
Gwilliam admits he responded aggressively.
"It is ridiculous that a taxi can't pick someone up in front of the pub," he said Thursday.
"Safety is our No.1 concern. We are serving alcohol. We want to make sure everybody gets a safe ride home and we'd like the city to be on board."
- SGI suing bars that served imparied driver who killed Saskatoon family
- Sask. bar owners, staff swallow stiff message from SGI lawsuit
He said these incidents have been happening for the past month, with either parking enforcement or Regina police shooing cabs away.
Gwilliam is frustrated and pointed to the recent lawsuit against two bars Saskatchewan Government Insurance launched after staff served a woman who later killed a family of four.
"We're very on edge right now."
City adds taxi stands
By noon, the City of Regina had announced late-night taxi stands would being created half a block away from the bar by Thursday afternoon.
A map provided by the city shows both stands will be installed around the corner from O'Hanlons on Victoria Avenue, near where it intersects with Scarth Street.
The city said the issue was discussed with businesses in the area, and will ensure that safety for all is maintained.
- MORE SASKATCHEWAN NEWS | 150,000 ladybugs released in Regina's Victoria Park
- MORE SASKATCHEWAN NEWS | Regina Food Bank receives 9,000-kg donation of lentils
With files from Alec Salloum