Students will have a safer walk to classes when they next attend lectures at the Carnegie building. As part of a street-planning initiative designed to revitalize the downtown, the section of George street in front of the building received a facelift, as did the sidewalks.
Gone are the three-hour parking spots on the east side of the road. They have been eliminated as a result of a Laurier request to extend the sidewalks further, in effect making them double the width as they were previously, and resulting in a much narrower road.
The sidewalk extension was the result of safety concerns. As Tony Araujo, Assistant Vice-President: Campus Administration & Special Constable Service explains, “One of the issues we faced physically with that building (Carnegie) is you come down the steps basically on to the sidewalk. There were situations where you come down and there’s a car right in front of you. Its not really super safe.”
Laurier originally asked for two spots to be removed to allow for the sidewalk directly in front of the Carnegie staircase to be extended, but the city decided to extend the sidewalk the whole length of the block.
While it is indeed safer, this project did result in the loss of valuable parking spaces. George St. has been a favourite area for students to park, one of the few areas on campus with three hour parking, and the most accessible.
When asked of any plans to replace these spots, Mark Gladysz, senior planner of the City of Brantford, said these spots were replaced three years ago when the project was first discussed. “Five new spots were created on the west side of Victoria Park on Market Street, and two new spaces were created on Darling Street, just east of the Student Union building,” Gladysz said.
The entire section of George St. betwen Darling St. and Wellington St. was also repaved. The Georget St. and Carnegie project is a part of the Victoria Park upgrades that began last summer.