Re: Redesigned Belmont Street parklet now open, Record, July 20
I have just read the article from Theresa McManus regarding the new parklet at Belmont and 6th.
She neglected to say that they have also installed a new smoking section across the street on the sidewalk with a sign reading "Smokers Welcome."
As a resident of Belmont Street, it has become obvious in just the last week or so since the parklet has re-opened that this has been an absolute waste of $15,000 of taxpayer money.
The parklet is not being used as planned because it appears that all of the smokers that were inhabiting the old parklet have now just moved across the street to the ashtray. Rarely is anyone in the parklet.
It quite often is not possible to walk on the sidewalk because of the people who are now standing there - some with their own chairs and even a boom box on the electrical panel for day-long entertainment.
It has already become a hangout for people who are there all day long.
The petitions and meetings that were presented to the city have obviously been ignored, as the city seems to have their own agenda regarding this parklet and care very little about the residents who are affected by this decision.
Gordon Grant, New Westminster
Editor's Note: Many of the complaints about the original design of the parklet were about smokers taking it over and no enforcement of smoking bylaws. The city set out to make the new parklet more usable for people who didn't want to be around smokers.