In response to Christina Cherneskey’s blog about why Downtown is largely barren after 5:30pm:
One problem is that our parks bylaw prohibits people from enjoying Victoria Park after 11PM, preventing a slew of shift workers from “loitering” or “remaining” in the Park after the Police try to chase out supposed troublemakers. This sends the wrong message to people overall, and they stay away, even though it’s mostly safe.
Another issue is bathrooms. After 9pm, the number of open public washrooms downtown is more than halved! This is in part a factor of the City being cheap, and another is its discrimination toward homeless people, who are another part of the equation. Shelters for the homeless, and resources to help them cope with common afflictions like addiction and mental illness that many of them suffer from, are not in sufficient supply.
Downtown gets locked up. The Cornwall Centre becomes a huge roadblock for someone walking from Victoria Ave. to the Casino, after 6pm most days. Pedestrian overpasses don’t appear on maps or signs, and are locked anyway at night. Scarth St. Mall locks up their indoor hallway, despite some business owners’ objections.
RDBID needs to make Downtown open and welcoming, and offer human amenities they require of (popular) special events (like bathrooms).
Encourage new office towers to all have living spaces in them too, so more people can live downtown, close to where they work. Allow food stores, and community gardens, and a community oven/ outdoor kitchen to open downtown. Don’t close one of the closest schools. Add more bike lanes. Improve snow clearing for pedestrians. Rebuild Regina’s tunnels, so people can travel from one end to the other, underground! Give people easier access to drinking water from public fountains.
People want to take their families where they know they’ll have food, water, shelter, and a place to use a clean bathroom. That doesn’t describe most of Regina’s downtown after 6pm most days, I’m sorry to say.