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High 19A lane closures discussed

At least one city councillor believes temporarily closing lanes of Highway 19A in downtown Parksville would help reduce speeds on the roadway. - JOHN HARDING PHOTO
At least one city councillor believes temporarily closing lanes of Highway 19A in downtown Parksville would help reduce speeds on the roadway.
— image credit: JOHN HARDING PHOTO

Bill Neufeld wants to slow drivers on Highway 19A through Parksville by temporarily closing lanes in the downtown area of the city.

The Parksville city councillor was asked this week if closing lanes downtown would be an annoyance to both residents and visitors.

"It would create a bottleneck, quite honestly," he said. "That would be something they would have to work with."

Mayor Chris Burger said he's heard "strong arguments on both sides and I'm not entirely convinced it would be something that would work."

Burger said the most recent data shows there are 600 vehicles on 19A in the downtown core in each lane, every hour. He also said closing lanes could be a boost for businesses in the downtown core and residents alike.

"I've always viewed the highway as somewhat of an impediment between the downtown core and the waterfront," he told The NEWS after council met Monday night. "There has been talk about a tunnel or potential overpasses, but something that sounds so simple can be very expensive."

Council made no decision about temporary lane closures on Monday night and there was no motion in front of them regarding the issue.

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