Summerside mulls Willow Street traffic situation
Summerside City Council is considering eliminating more parking spaces on Willow Avenue.
The move is a recommendation from the Summerside Police Services and was discussed during a recent committee of council meeting.
The proposal is to eliminate parking in an area equivalent to five parking spaces on the north side of the street, near 511 Willow Ave.
Most recently, the city has been receiving complaints from that property owner regarding the difficulty crossing horses from their property on one side of the street to Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on the other side.
Horse crossing signs were recently reinstalled in the area, but the issue is apparently persisting.
Traffic problems in general on Willow Avenue are not new. Excessive speed and parking issues have been ongoing complaints for some time.
Willow Avenue, where it empties onto Greenwood Drive, has a soccer field, skate park and volleyball courts on either side, so it’s a congested area during sporting events.
Council previously voted to eliminate parking along the south side of the street entirely, citing the same concerns of reduced visibility and the potential for people being struck as they walk onto the street from between parked cars.
The previous parking ban along with this new proposal prompted some councillors to wonder whether the city should ban parking on the street entirely rather than dealing with one-off issues as they arise.
“I just think eventually we’re going to be sitting here talking about taking (parking) out after a kid gets killed. Because I see them walk out between the cars and you cannot see them. Heaven forbid something like that happens, I just don’t want to be going back and saying we should have done something after something happens,” said Coun. Tyler Desroches.
Police Chief Dave Poirier told council that there are some options they could consider, including making Willow Avenue a one-way street. However, he cautioned that whatever action council may take may prove ultimately useless as people could just start parking along the side of Greenwood Drive, which has its own speeding and traffic problems.
Council will make a final decision about the five parking spaces at its upcoming monthly meeting.