Road closure raises parking concerns

Members of the Prince Rupert United Church are concerned the closure of a lane will create additional parking issues.

Members of the Prince Rupert United Church are concerned the closure of a lane connecting Fulton Street and Musgrave Place will create additional parking issues in the area.

The road closure was required to complete a land exchange that will enable Annunciation School to plan for expansion, while securing the continued use of a strip of the school’s property on Fulton Street as a city sidewalk.

The land exchange will allow Annunciation to investigate expanding the school to include a gymnasium on the main property instead of having it across the street, which is considered a safety issue, along with other possible upgrades to their facility.

But representatives of the neighbouring United Church are worried about the effects closing the lane will have in the future.

“We’re worried that parking, which already impacts us, will get worse,” said Jim Martin.

“On a relatively quiet Sunday morning, a very large number of vehicles fill the neighbourhood,” said Hazel Bott, adding parked cars fill the lane, Annunciation field, the United Church parking lot and surrounding streets.

“Neither the neighbourhood or the United Church parking lot can absorb that many more vehicles on a regular basis.”

Annunciation’s facilities predate the city’s parking requirements, so there isn’t currently a parking lot for the Parish and school.

Richard Pucci, the city’s engineering coordinator, said the department understands concerns, but stated it’s a separate issue from the land exchange. He noted if Annunciation moves forward with plans to expand, parking issues would be discussed at that time.

“Our department and the building department wouldn’t be issuing a building permit unless they were able to house their parking accordingly,” he said.