Merchants on Third Avenue in Port Alberni are asking for some changes to make the area more pedestrian-friendly, such as a round-about and narrowing the road from four to two lanes. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Alberni merchants ask city for pedestrian friendly changes to Third Avenue

Ideas include a round-about and road narrowing

BY MIKE YOUDS

Special to the News

Uptown merchants are asking the city to make Third Avenue more pedestrian friendly by eliminating two lanes of traffic and enhancing the shopping area with benches and lights.

Chris Washington, owner of Flandangles, said Uptown has been lacking in beautification over the last few years as the city focused on Johnston Road improvements. But Johnston Road is a busy, four-lane highway, she noted.

“We really want the Uptown area to become a gathering place, a social place,” Washington said.

She listed several potential improvements for the area between Argyle and Mar streets, including the addition of a public washroom, a traffic circle and improved parking access. They also plan to erect a new sign welcoming people to the area.

Washington has been running a contest on Flandangles’ Facebook page to probe residents’ ideas on improvements to the area.

While council didn’t discuss the requests in detail, they unanimously agreed to adjust their strategic planning priorities around discussions of an alternative truck route to Third Avenue. That would require co-operation from the mills, which the previous city council was unable to achieve.

An Uptown block party is planned for July 12 from 4-9 p.m.

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