Wow what have you done to main street?
I was born and raised in Burns Lake — and although life took me away from my hometown — I still look forward to coming home to visit family and friends. This year I was but a few feet short of high-centering my vehicle on a new addition to the town décor at the bottom of Centre Street.
Being accustomed to driving down the hill into town and making a right turn up Centre Street, I was horrified to discover a large obstruction in front of Home Hardware. Seriously? Is it a garden, a meridian, a sidewalk? Who on earth decided this served a useful purpose or was even remotely pleasing to the eye? More importantly, I fail to imagine how truckers manage to maneuver around that bad boy.
In retrospect, I’m not exactly sure how one gets into the Home Hardware parking lot. That’s bad for business, as not everyone will make the effort to hunt for parking particularly if they’re passing through. I wanted to stop in at Home Hardware during my visit, but getting in wasn’t convenient, so I didn’t. Sorry Home Hardware. You need to speak to council about the impact this brilliant concept of landscaping has on your business.
Further exploration of Main Street revealed a significant reduction in parking spots, confusing turning lanes (and I live in Calgary)? and let’s hope no one is in a hurry to get to the post office. And what’s with the monstrosity at the bottom of First Avenue? The sign posts popping up randomly in the middle of the highway don’t appear to serve any obvious purpose.
I anticipate these changes will result in fewer opportunities for tourists to stop and contribute to the local economy. The mall might carve out a portion of the tourist business, but I fear those small businesses along Main Street will suffer.
I understand council wants to beautify Burns Lake; unfortunately, Main Street has been transformed into an obstacle course for motor vehicles. These beautification efforts may be appropriate in select areas of larger communities where the focus is on enhancing the pedestrian experience.
If that was indeed the intent of the plan, someone should have done more research, because there isn’t typically a preponderance of year-round foot traffic in Northern communities. Furthermore, council appears to have overlooked the obvious: Main Street and the Yellowhead Hwy. are one and the same.
I’m not a taxpayer, so why listen to my negative comments? Well, try listening to your taxpayers, because during my visit I heard a whole lot of comments that make mine sound downright flattering.
Here’s hoping council revisits their efforts to make Main Street more appealing to its residents and visitors, and brings in the dozers to remove those obstructions. With any luck, perhaps the snowplows will take care of the problem this winter?
Still a Burns Lake girl at heart,