Burns Lake council has recently held another meeting with Hwy. 16 business owners and building owners to gather feedback on the recent parking changes.
The Village of Burns Lake has recently installed two short-term parking signs and one loading zone sign along Hwy. 16 – between Centre Street and First Avenue – to increase parking options for visitors and locals spending money at local businesses.
According to councillor Kelly Holliday, who owns a business in that section of the highway, the new signs have been causing “confusion” among local business owners and residents due to their location and angle.
During the recent meeting, one participant said the village needs to improve the lighting at the parking lot across from the Evergreen Mall. The participant said the current lack of proper lighting is a cause for concern for locals who work in that area.
“In the winter months, people arrive in the dark and leave when it is dark,” explained the participant after the meeting. “I expressed my concern about safety and the importance of lighting the parking lot.”
The Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce is also asking the municipality to install lights in the parking lot.
“Lighting in the parking lot would increase safety for business operators and employees, and it would make parking in the parking lot a safe option during the winter season when it gets dark before businesses close,” said chamber president Luke Strimbold in a letter to village council.
In the past few months, the Burns Lake RCMP has increased foot patrols in the downtown area. They say this has led to a reduction in public intoxication in 2017 compared to the previous year.
The chamber is also asking the village for a review of safety measures and enhancements for the downtown crosswalks.
“As our downtown gets busier, we see a lot more foot traffic, which is why we believe there is a need to collaborate with the municipality, ICBC, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and other organizations to find solutions for safer crosswalks.”
Strimbold added that the chamber has also brainstormed ideas such as more flashing lights and signage for Hwy. 16.
Village staff will now prepare a report with recommendations based on the feedback received so far. Council will then decide a further course of action.