Mission council officially adopted the Downtown Action Plan and approved certain parking changes.
All-day parking on James and Grand Streets south of First Avenue will soon be permitted after 8 a.m. This would create parking spaces for employees in the area, and free up parking spots on First Avenue, where some workers park.
The Downtown Action Plan outlines five fundamentals and 10 big moves to improve and revitalize the area.
The five fundamental elements are:
1. An interconnected, multi-transportation network for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders.
2. A mix of high-density land uses and activity nodes that can generate a strong customer base.
3. High-quality public realm, parks and open spaces to provide a pedestrian-friendly environment and encourage people to spend time in the area.
4. Social needs and community issues need to be addressed in order to create a welcoming environment for everyone.
5. Create economic conditions for successful development.
The plan’s 10 big moves aim to be a catalyst for change. They are:
1. First is First: Taking back ownership and control of First Avenue, which includes re-routing truck traffic.
2. Welton Street Pedestrian Spine: Enhancing public open spaces and connecting pedestrian paths to key destinations downtown.
3. Bring cultural, educational, and civic uses downtown: This combination would support a diversity of people and activities.
4. Improve the economics of downtown development: Introducing development regulations and incentives to improve the area and business opportunities.
5. Downtown Living: Increase the number of area residents.
6. A welcoming and family friendly downtown: Create an environment people will want to spend time in, and minimizing negative behaviour/activities.
7. Downtown community green: Creating a public park to provide green space.
8. Safety and security: Improve actual and perceived problems.
9. Vacant no more: Filling vacant sites or storefronts with community gardens, arts displays or other improvements.
10. Downtown gateways: to emphasize visitors are entering downtown.
Council is also implementing one-year ambassador and clean streets pilot programs which will provide more than just security for the area. Ambassadors will also report criminal behaviour to police, respond appropriately to inappropriate behaviour, promote downtown, monitor parking, care for flower boxes and hanging baskets in public spaces, deal with snow removal and graffiti issues, and any other tasks associated with creating a healthy and vibrant downtown.
This program replaces the downtown security initiative which had an annual operating budget of $51,500. No additional funding will be provided.
The full Mission City Downtown Action Plan is available at mission.ca.