Pedestrian mall public engagement expected to conclude in mid-October
When the Water Street pedestrian mall clewed up for the season Sept. 7, the city allowed businesses with extended patios out on the street to continue until Sept. 30. On Monday, city council voted to extend it again, until Nov. 1.
Coun. Debbie Hanlon made the motion for the extension during the regular council meeting. She said the Downtown St. John’s executive agreed with the move, and councillors voted unanimously to make the change.
The extension applies to all patios in the city that are on public property, not just those on Water Street and Duckworth Street.
Mayor Danny Breen said the city wanted to give businesses more opportunity to get additional revenue further into the fall with the expanded capacity a deck provides. He said the city has been monitoring the downtown area since the pedestrian mall closed, and traffic is still moving well through the streets with businesses keeping their patios in place.
Meanwhile, city staff said during the council meeting that they plan to have public engagement about the pedestrian mall completed by mid-October, including debriefing with businesses and the city’s inclusion advisory committee about their thoughts on the pilot project so it can be improved in the future.
Breen said he is hopeful that by the end of this year they will have a better idea of how the pedestrian mall will look next year.