Consultant hired to help find solution to walkway issue
NORTH SYDNEY — North Sydney’s Business Improvement Development Association (BIDA) and Marine Atlantic have engaged a consultant to help find a solution to the walkway issue at Marine Atlantic’s North Sydney terminal.
The walkway allows pedestrian traffic to pass through the property.
In order to comply with Transport Canada regulations, Marine Atlantic has until April 1 to have a security plan in place that includes possible closure of the gateway just off Commercial Street.
Passengers travelling Marine Atlantic's ferry service between North Sydney and Newfoundland can look forward to enhanced security measures including luggage, vehicle and drop trailer searches. Photo identification will also be required at the ticket booths.
A steering committee made up of representatives from the three levels of government, Marine Atlantic and BIDA have been meeting to try to find a solution that would allow continued access for pedestrians.
Ekistics Planning and Design of Dartmouth, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in land development planning, design and project management, will do an evaluation of Marine Atlantic’s property based on aerial photos, topography and maps.
The initial meeting between Ekistics and the steer- ing committee is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m.
“Ekistics will gather information and provide stakeholders with possible options, along with a budget for each of those options,” said BIDA community development officer Monique Cashin. “ We’ll see what options meet our needs of having and improving access for the public.”
BIDA is concerned that closing off pedestrian access will adversely affect the downtown businesses and potential tourist traffic. It would also restrict North Sydney residents who use the pedestrian walkway to access the hospital, Indian Beach and businesses in the Purves Street area.
“The short-term solution with the commissionaires is working fine for now,” Cashin said. “I’m pleased with how the relationship is developing with Marine Atlantic, it is really positive. If residents have a safe way to travel from one side of the community to the other and Marine Atlantic can reach a level of security that complies with current regulations, everybody wins.”