The section of Princess Avenue from Young Road to Nowell Street, seen here on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, will be converted to one-way traffic to help increase parking in the area. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The section of Princess Avenue from Young Road to Nowell Street, seen here on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, will be converted to one-way traffic to help increase parking in the area. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack council opts to convert downtown street to one-way traffic to create parking

Council voted to start with Princess Avenue, holding off on converting Victoria Avenue until later

After public consultation and due consideration at city hall, a section of Princess Avenue is set to be converted to one-way traffic going east from Young Road.

The goal is freeing up space to create 18 new on-street parking spots.

Council voted in favour of the one-way traffic change at the Jan. 19 meeting on the heels of consultation through the City of Chilliwack’s new Engage Chilliwack platform.

Feedback was sought from the downtown business sector for the various scenarios being considered to create more parking.

Coun. Chris Kloot asked staff at the last meeting if the idea of converting only one street to one-way, rather than the two proposed, had been looked at.

Transportation director Kara Jefford responded that it hadn’t, but if only one street were to be converted, it should be Princess Avenue as the priority because of the planned curb and sidewalk work, as well as a new storm drain installation coming this spring.

Coun. Jason Lum said he agreed with Coun. Kloot about the idea of phasing in the changes by doing Princess Avenue first.

“I’d be fully supportive of doing a phased-in approach,” Coun. Kloot added.

Ultimately the vote of city council on Jan. 19 was to proceed with design and construction to convert Princess Avenue between Young Road and Nowell Street from two-way traffic to one-way traffic, with the aim of increasing available street parking.

RELATED: Idea of one-way traffic conversion floated

The initial recommendation had been to look at converting Victoria Avenue to one-way traffic but then Algra Bros. Development asked staff to look at making Princess Avenue a one-way street east of Young Road as well. The rationale was that it would facilitate access to their new development, and create 18 new parallel parking stalls on Princess Avenue in the process, where there is no on-street parking as the street is is too narrow.

In the end city council opted to convert only Princess Avenue to one-way traffic “for now,” and to revisit the Victoria Avenue proposal in the coming months.

RELATED: Converting Victoria traffic was looked at for boosting parking

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