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'Would be a very big loss': Regina residents opposed to allowing vehicles on Scarth Street Mall


For nearly 50 years, Scarth Street Mall has been for pedestrians only. It was deemed a walk-in corridor after a bylaw was passed all the way back in 1975.

It’s a decision that Vanessa Mathews calls “ahead of its time.”

“It’s the only pedestrian focused street in the city and now we have cities across Canada, they’re adding pedestrian only streets to their core areas,” the University of Regina geography and environmental studies professor told CTV News.

“We were kind of leading that trend and I hope we continue to have at least one in our city.”

But the City of Regina is exploring whether or not to allow traffic once again as part of the Scarth Street revitalization project.

A survey conducted by the city had 6,600 respondents, 90 per cent of which, were not in favour of vehicles returning to the space.

CTV News spoke with a few folks passing through the mall, all of whom were in agreement.

“Downtown is already so congested at this point, and there’s so few places that are pedestrian focused in the city, especially for businesses, that I think would be a very big loss for the community,” one resident explained.

“I know that the cars, they go down the other side streets in this kind of area and sometimes they’re not very patient. So I feel like that might be another factor. I’m not hugely in favour, but whatever happens, happens,” another woman shared.

According to senior city planner, Kim Sare, more information is needed before making the final decision.

“We’re not sure yet. We are using the conversation to come with people to find out what it’s gonna look like,” she said. “So we are still continuing the conversation finding out how residences, businesses, stakeholders, and the general public want to use that space.”

Construction was set to begin this year. However, it has been pushed back to 2027 due to budget constraints.

Giving the city more time to get feedback from residents.

A timeline Mathews hopes, will allow for an alternative solution.

“Anytime that we can create what are known as ‘sticky spaces’ so spaces that people will want to go to and stay on for long periods of time then that’s the gold standard of planning,” Mathews said.

The City of Regina has released its survey results - they can be found here. The city says it will be looking for more feedback on the proposed improvements in the future. Top Stories

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