River Market is appealing to city hall to tackle parking.
Market representatives plan to attend Monday’s council meeting to ask the city to take a number of steps to address parking issues in the area. A statement issued Thursday afternoon by the Network Hub - New Westminster, headlined “The City of New Westminster needs to hear YOUR VOICE this Monday,” said market representatives would be appearing before council and encouraged others to come out and voice their opinions as this is what will “drive the city” to change.
Along with getting the city’s support for a bus stop near River Market and for better wayfinding signage with stronger visual cues, the statement said delegates will ask the city to: review the current downtown parking strategy and determine whether it meets the future needs of the neighbourhood; establish a parking policy for construction crews so they’re not taking up parking spots during construction; and improving the pedestrian experience from Hyack Square to the market.
The Record contacted River Market to get details about its concerns, but representatives didn’t want to comment any further until after attending Monday’s council meeting.
While Mayor Jonathan Cote wasn’t aware of the delegation coming to Monday’s meeting, he told the Record the city has definitely heard concerns from River Market in recent years.
“We are well aware and concerned obviously about some of the immediate construction challenges because the River Market really is going to be surrounded by some rather significant construction projects over a pretty lengthy period of time. One project is coming to completion now but right on the heels of that, another project is starting. We think in the long-term, both of those projects are going to be a real positive impact on the River Market, but during construction we fully recognize it’s putting a lot of pressure on the tenants in the River Market.
The RiverSky project is currently under construction to the west of the market and the Pier West development will be built to the east of the market, between Fraser River Discover Centre and Westminster Pier Park.
“I think council would certainly want to engage with the River Market and the tenants of River Market to see how the city can best make sure that the River Market can continue to thrive in a period that’s going to be challenging with the construction,” Cote said. “We would welcome those conversations with individual business owners or the River Market in general.”