Regina approves $2.5 million program to increase bus driver safety
REGINA -- Regina City Council voted unanimously in favour of installing plexiglass shields in all city buses as an added layer of protection for drivers.
Buses currently have vinyl sheets installed to protect drivers from COVID-19. The plexiglass is expected to also protect drivers from other risks that come with the job and will stay after the pandemic is over.
The change will be made under the Canada Infrastructure program and will cost a total of $2.57 million dollars. The city will have to pay $686,505 with the rest coming from the provincial and federal government.
Kevin Lucier, the president of the local Amalgamated Transit Union, said in the past year there were four incidents that would have been avoided if the plexiglass was in place, including one sexual assault and one physical assault.
He said the plexiglass would provide an increased level of comfort to all drivers.
GREENS ON GARDINER DEVELOPMENT REJECTED
City council voted 10-1 against the building of a proposed five story apartment building at 3700 Green Diamond Rd from Broadstreet Properties.
The proposal was for a low-rise building which would be 15.57 metres tall and would have 154 parking stalls. It would be five stories tall.
Council heard from one representative from the area, Matthew Carleton, who said he was speaking on behalf of the residents of Green Crescent. He said residents are concerned with the increase in traffic that would come from the proposed 123-unit building. He said with a school and parks in the area, the new building would not add any safety.
He also said there would be a decrease in on-street parking for current residents if this building went ahead. He said the residents do not want an excessively high building in the neighbourhood.
Kevin Reese, the manager of the Greens on Gardiner Development, spoke to council and said he is disappointed with the city’s planning commission for suggesting to deny this proposal. He said the streets are wide enough to accommodate on-street parking and the proposed building exceeds the city’s parking requirements.
Reese said the height should not be a problem. He said shadowing from the building will not be significant for nearby properties.
Rachel Ricard, the development manager for Broadstreet Properties, said only 2-3 homes would suffer enough shadowing.
She said during the consultation process, 131 people were against the development and only about half were concerned with the height. Others wanted the space used for other things, such as another park.
Councillor Lori Bresciani, who represents the Greens on Gardiner neighbourhood in her ward, asked why a four storey building isn’t an option.
Broadstreet Properties said a four story building would make the economics difficult to manage based on the size of the site work and its unique shape. If they go to four stories, they would get less land for parking which would bring the number of parking stalls per unit down.
Bresciani said she’s overwhelmingly heard from residents in her ward that the height of this building is the main concern. Bresciani said she has never seen opposition like. She said the residents in the Greens are not against rental units, as there are several already in the neighbourhood and more under construction.
Councillor Andrew Stevens was the only member of council who voted in favour of the build. He said it’s regrettable that the developer won’t accommodate some of the concerns of the local residents, but said the development proposal does fit the city’s criteria and the goals set for that area.
City council voted in favour of allowing the Regina Squash Centre and Queen City Volleyball to take over two separate, vacant properties in the city for their own respective training needs.
The Regina Squash Centre will be able to use the property at 1905 East Redbear Ave.
Queen City Volleyball is permitted to use 1802 E. Stock Rd for its training.
City council also approved a space on 1565 Winnipeg St. to be used for ABA Coffee Holdings Ltd. to build a walk-up and drive through coffee shop.
The coffee shop vote was split 7-4.