EDITORIAL: Alberni merchants ask for change Uptown

Merchants on Third Avenue last week asked the City of Port Alberni to create a more pedestrian-friendly Uptown by eliminating two lanes of traffic, adding benches and lights and a host of other potential changes.

We applaud the merchants’ efforts and hope city council will take their request seriously.

Quality of life indices often talk about economics, political environment, infrastructure, and what housing and recreational opportunities abound. Really, though, it’s about liveability.

Harbour Quay already offers a gathering place for people, and Kingsway Crossing—the business and residential community that has taken hold at Argyle Street and along Kingsway Avenue—is creating its own community. Following the hill up Argyle and spreading along Third Avenue seems a natural way to build on these strengths.

Stacey and Franco Gaiga created a gathering place for Uptown when they built Gaiga Square on Third Avenue: gardens, a fountain and a commissioned sculpture by Indigenous artist Gordon Dick. The pocket park adds some greenery to the corner, transforming a gravel lot into something beautiful—but the park is under-utilized.

The Rotary Arts District and Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley have added some character to the area with art and public sculpture projects, and both ACAWS and AV Hospice Society commissioned a butterfly bench by chainsaw artist Jesse Toso for Third Avenue.

There is potential, and now there is a desire from merchants in the area to take action.

Turning the focus of Uptown to a pedestrian-friendly area will force city council’s hand on what to do with industrial truck traffic—and will show the public whether they have the will to do anything about rerouting trucks from Third Avenue.

Roundabouts have been discussed informally within the community for Argyle Street; they could create smoothly flowing traffic along Third Avenue by eliminating the four-way stops. They can be constructed so emergency vehicles can navigate them quickly.

Eleven years ago the city produced its Uptown and Waterfront Redevelopment Plan for the area. Not much of that plan has been achieved, but the positive aspect is that it represented a complete picture of what Uptown could be.

If the merchants and city council are serious about examining a pedestrian-friendly Uptown, a cohesive plan is a must.

—Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

Well-known Port Alberni politician, philanthropist Gillian Trumper has died

Community remembers Trumper as generous to her community, and a groundbreaking politician

Port Alberni cancer patients get new ride to appointments

Qualicum Beach woman donates van to Freemasons’ transportation program

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address other issues of importance

Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs improve to 6-0 at home

Bulldogs take down top-ranked Penticton Vees

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read