Parksville Downtown Business Association youth ambassadors Austin Smith and Aomi Jokoji gave a report to city council last week.

Parksville city council told sidewalks are dangerous and in disrepair

Two delegations came to council's meeting Wednesday night and spoke about pedestrian and wheelchair access issues

They are dangerous. They lead wheelchair users into the middle of intersections. They are in disrepair.

Parksville city council heard a lot of talk about sidewalks in the city from two separate delegations at its regular meeting last week.

First up were the Parksville Downtown Business Association’s youth ambassadors Austin Smith and Aomi Jokoji, two teens now in their Grade 12 year at Ballenas Secondary School. They spent a couple of months employed by the PDBA this summer talking to residents, business owners and tourists in the downtown of Parksville and delivered a report to council on Wednesday night.

The teens fielded questions from, and provided info for, about 300 people in the downtown core of the city between June 22- August 28. Both of them said it was a positive experience and the PDBA was pleased with the amount of data it received.

“(Smith and Jokoji) proved to be above and beyond our expectations,” said PDBA executive director Pam Bottomley. “The project turned into so much more.”

The teens provided council with statistics on what people asked about and what people both enjoyed and were frustrated by in downtown Parksville. Smith said people said Parksville Community Park is “always a fantastic experience.” The teens said many people asked about activities available in the downtown core.

According to the teens, there were quite a few negative comments about the downtown, and they did not soften the language in their report to council last week.

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