The temporary arrangements set up on Saint-Charles Street West to give businesses a little breath during the pandemic will be back in the summer of 2021.
New street furniture (Adirondak chairs, picnic tables, flower pots and sprayers) was installed this summer along Saint-Charles Street West and in St. Mark Park; a strategy to make the streets more attractive to citizens, and thus promote local purchasing and support businesses severely affected by the pandemic.
Restaurant owners have been able to extend their terrace on part of the sidewalk and in part of the street, which has become one-way during the summer season. The pedestrian corridors were also intended to make travel safer, while respecting physical distancing.
Consumption of alcohol with a meal has also been permitted at St. Mark’s Park. “A majority of business people from Saint-Charles Street and many citizens have told us of their satisfaction and their desire to see this initiative renewed,” wrote Mayor Sylvie Parent on her Facebook page.
She asked the general management of the City to present a report for the summer of 2020, as well as a plan for 2021.
“In collaboration with merchants, restaurateurs and users of rue Saint-Charles, this plan will be revisited, because a good idea can always be improved,” she added.
Despite consultation and support from the majority of merchants with regard to this summer planning, the temporary developments on Saint-Charles Street had been the target of criticism, particularly with regard to universal accessibility. Bodies and organizations complained of not having been consulted.
Access ramps were subsequently installed to facilitate the movement of people with reduced mobility between the sidewalk and sections of the street reserved for pedestrians.