Council approves plan for Gaetz Ave.

Red Deer City council recently approved a plan that will make a portion of Gaetz Ave. more attractive and pedestrian friendly.

The revitalization, which will take place in the downtown core from 46 St. to 52 St., contains design elements that are intended to develop a safe, pedestrian friendly streetscape with a strong sense of place to enhance the area.

“I’m excited about this plan because I think it will benefit the businesses in this area,” said Councillor Gail Parks.

The design incorporates elements to attract residents and visitors during the day and evening through all seasons.

The plan calls for numerous trees and shrubs to be planted. It proposes plants be no taller than 900 mms high and that they focus on adding texture and colour to the street.

Also proposed is the use of red and tan paving stone that would serve as City sidewalks with inlaid street names and information about historical buildings making the area more walkable.

Architectural street markers could also potentially line this portion of Gaetz Ave. and new light standards would be used throughout to brighten up the area at night.

The plan also calls for 49 St. (the block between Ross St. and 49 Ave.) to become a one-way street instead of the current two-way street. If approved, the street will incorporate angle parking instead of the current parallel parking.

“I think the public needs to be included in this if we’re going to consider changing this street to a one-way because this is going to affect them,” said Councillor Lynne Mulder.

In future years, council will be requested to provide financial support to the project. The first phase of the project is proposed for the 2011 budget year. This phase is expected to cost $2.8 million.

The total budget amount for the project is $8.6 million.

Council agreed that further consultation was needed before a decision could be made on the one-way street.

A report will come back to council regarding this issue in the first quarter of 2011.

Council approved the rest of the document, which will be used as a planning tool.