Niagara Region has unveiled a new vision for Port Dalhousie that includes turning Lock Street in the commercial core into a part-time pedestrian mall or “flexible use area.”
Andrea LaPlante from consultant Associated Engineering Ltd. explained during an online public meeting Wednesday night a flex-use area gives the city of St. Catharines the option to create a pedestrian- and cyclist-only space but allow vehicles in at certain times if it wants.
She said the city may want to close Lock Street to vehicular traffic during busy summer months but open it up to cars in the winter.
“Comments we’ve heard from stakeholders and business owners in the area is in the winter months when there’s not a lot of traffic and the weather’s not great, people may not want to park at Lakeside Park and come up to pick up food or coffee,” said LaPlante, an environmental assessment co-ordinator.
“By identifying it as that flex-use option it gives flexibility to then allow low volume traffic potentially in off peak times to better serve the local businesses.”
The Region has been planning a reconstruction of Lock Street, Main Street and Lakeport Road, all of which make up Regional Road 87 between Verdun Avenue and Ontario Street.
It started a municipal class environmental assessment in 2019 to study alternatives for the area, looking at road widths, parking, cyclists, pedestrians, safety issues, heritage, transit and its transportation master plan goals.
The Region and its consultants presented preferred recommendations for changes to the three roads Wednesday night in an online public information session.