Less parking on Pope Road a possibility
Committee recommends reduction of 24 spaces to improve safety
The City of Summerside has taken a step towards eliminating 24 parking spaces along Pope Road to improve safety.
Councillors voted unanimously to pass the motion and eliminate the spaces during Tuesday’s committee meeting. The full council will revisit the issue later this month and have a final vote.
The spaces include 12 on the north side of the road, outside the new Centennial Nissan, and another 12 on the south side, adjacent to a number of residential units.
The owners of the residential units and the car dealership were concerned the spaces reduced visibility and created a traffic hazard when exiting their driveways onto the road. The Summerside Police Service also recommended the change.
Council approved the elimination of another six parking spaces along the stretch of road in April for the same reasons.
Tuesday’s motion touched off a long-running discussion around the council table about the overall parking situation on Pope Road.
Coun. Gordie Whitlock and other councillors said they would like the city to take an overall look at the situation on the road and come up with a long-term solution.
“I fully support taking a larger look at the situation. Even though it’s not our responsibility to provide parking for federal government employees,” said Whitlock.
For many years the road has been the main artery leading to the Summerside Tax Centre, one of the largest employers in the area.
That building’s current parking lot has, for years, been insufficient to meet demand and while efforts have been made to reduce the number of cars spilling out of the lot and onto the sides of Pope Road, the problem persists.
The situation is also been exacerbated by development of new commercial and residential units along the road.
Some councillors have said, whenever the topic comes up, they would like to see parking completely eliminated along Pope Road and alternative arrangements made for those tax centre workers without a parking space.
It has also been noted by some longtime members of council that previous attempts to work with the tax centre to increase its parking capacity have been unsuccessful.