The project aims to beautify the downtown core and encourage active transportation. Its implementation must begin in two main arteries of the city of Windsor.

At Monday’s council meeting, councilors approved the recommended designs for University Avenue and Victoria Avenue in the city center and ensured that businesses were consulted on the more detailed designs.

A report that has been presented to council predicts that the changes will cost approximately $49 million. This figure does not include the cost of other developments that may be required, such as sewer reconstruction or lighting changes.

The biggest point of contention is that the designs propose the removal of 84 parking spaces along University Avenue between Crawford Street and McDougall Street to better accommodate green space and bike lanes.

The city’s Active Transportation Master Plan aims to improve infrastructure that better supports cyclists and pedestrians.

On University Avenue, plans are for a 3.5 kilometer section between Huron Church Road and McDougall Street.

The loss of parking, a tragedy

Some area business owners told council they were unhappy and want the city to consider alternatives.

With the proposed cycle lanes to replace our main parking spaces, we are very concerned for our business, as removing these spaces will cause great inconvenience and hindrance to our regular customers and online order deliverers.believes David Bezarevic, the owner of Booster Juice.

He’s not against bike lanes, but he wants the city to consider creating lanes next to parking spaces.

If you decide to remove these essential parking spaces, you leave us absolutely no choice but to close our downtown area and move elsewhere.he laments.

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According to him, the urban project would reduce the sales of his business, because hundreds customers use the parking lot daily, as does the company that delivers their food products.

Jerry Ferrari, father of G&G Jewelery owner, is excited to see bike lanes coming to the area. On the other hand, he also thinks that the adjacent stores cannot afford to lose parking spaces.

It would be a tragedy for our company to remove the three parking spacesMr. Ferrari told advisers.

The trade-off is worth it, says another trader

But not everyone is opposed to the changes.

Allison Mistakidis, co-owner of Whiskey Jack Boutique, is in favor of the project. She thinks the loss of parking is worth the gain of more cyclist and pedestrian traffic.

I can tell you that the lack of parking in front of our store on Maiden Lane has not hindered our ability to succeedshe says, adding that as a cyclist, the proposed infrastructure would also make her feel safer.

The city’s senior transportation and planning engineer, Jeff Hagan, also indicated that there was a good availability parking spaces in the surrounding streets.

Jeff Hagan is the City of Windsor’s Transportation Planning Engineer

Photo: Salma Ibrahim/CBC

Whilst I certainly understand the importance companies place on parking spaces right outside their door, there are a number of parking spaces nearbyhe advanced.

He recalled the existence of a parking lot about 40 to 50 meters away on Freedom Way or about 120 meters away on Chatham Street.

Ward 3 Councilor Rino Bortolin adjusted the proposed motion to ensure businesses are consulted during the detailed design of the area to see if any accommodations can be made.

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An environmental study report for the area will be made available to the public for a 30-day comment period.

Once approved by the Department of Environment, Conservation and Parks, a detailed design will be developed and construction will begin in stages.

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