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'A step backward': City opens survey for public feedback on future of Scarth Street pedestrian mall

The City of Regina has opened a survey for the public to provide their feedback on the future of the Scarth Street mall.

Sewer and water pipes under the path on Scarth Street between 11th and 12th Avenue are being replaced this summer as part of the city’s downtown revitalization plan.

There are three scenarios regarding traffic access presented by the city including allowing full, one-way traffic on the street.

Pedestrians who spoke to CTV News said they do not want the mall open to vehicles.

“I think it would make the downtown less interesting,” said one man who eats his lunch in the space most days. “It would be just another street.”

“I like it the way it is,” he said.

Another possibility is the mall could become a shared pedestrian-vehicle space, similar to Pat Fiacco Plaza.

“I would be open to it if I could trust the city to do it right,” said another Regina resident. “Past projects, like the plaza, is interpreted by drivers to be driving lane.”

“That encourages faster speeds and impatience. People are constantly honked at for walking on the plaza,” he said.

(Donovan Maess/CTV News)

The mall area has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1975.

Small businesses operating in the pedestrian mall seemed to be split on allowing vehicle access.

“This will be a step backward,” said The Book End Ltd. president Damodar Anant.

The Book End has been operating in the pedestrian mall since 1978.

“It was meant to bring people downtown,” Anant said. “We are completely opposed to changes.”

Next door at the Salon Snax, some openness to vehicles.

“It used to be drive-thru,” said Greg Olenick. “We have nothing really lose and perhaps everything to gain.”

Salon Snax has been open in the mall since 1980.

“We can bring back the downtown, where people pull up to their favourite store or block and do their shopping,” Olenick said.

The survey is open to the public until June 10.

The city will also hold in-person information at the Regina Farmer’s Market on June 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Top Stories

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