Halifax installs benches to curb illegal parking on Argyle Street
Published Tuesday, August 6, 2019 6:05PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 6, 2019 8:48PM ADT
Benches appeared on Argyle Street in Halifax on Tuesday morning as a creative solution to the street's illegal parking problem. With many people wanting more pedestrian-friendly streets, it is a welcome move by local businesses.
"We did some more enforcement," said HRM councillor, Waye Mason. "We had police come down, they were giving out $61 tickets and $152 tickets – but rather than having police come down and waste their time handing out tickets, it was much easier to put some benches in and make it so you physically could not park there."
After Halifax parking enforcement issued 137 parking tickets in June alone on the street, benches were installed within five days following approval from Halifax Regional Municipality and fire crews – impressing local business owners.
"Now people can grab their food from those restaurants and the tea shop and sit outside in the sun," said Neptune Theatre artistic director Jeremy Webb. "I think more of these benches would be fantastic."
Webb says he's in favour of the street being more accessible to pedestrians more often.
"I'd like to see it open in the morning for delivery and then come maybe 11:30 or noon," says Webb. "Close it down the whole way – all the time."
Some say delivery trucks are also an issue and that truck drivers have parked near their restaurants and patios, blocking the sidewalk and disrupting the diners.
"We're allowed to move our signs just to the black area so it kind of stops the trucks from parking in that general area," says East of Grafton bartender Liyah Coles. "So hopefully that will improve the parking a little bit."
Mason says police will be taking photographs of licence plates to help spot repeat offenders. He hopes the benches will also make the street safer for people with mobility or visual impairments.
"People with mobility issues don't feel comfortable going into the street even though the cars are slow," says Mason. "For people with visual impairments, it's very uncomfortable for them to be navigating a path that goes back and forth – they want to have a clear shot where the sidewalk needs to be."
With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff