Niagara Gazette — Some of the sidewalk bump-outs on Third Street will soon be a thing of the past.
The sidewalk extensions were installed as part of the state agency USA Niagara Development Corp.’s streetscape project added space for businesses on the downtown street to use for patios. Part of a makeover meant to make Third Street more attractive to businesses, the bump-outs eliminated parking.
But the $3.7 million streetscape renovation, which was paid for mostly with casino revenues, left patrons searching for places to park.
Mayor Paul Dyster said that the Department of Public Works had some extra money left for road repair projects and decided to use the money to respond to requests from business owners on Third Street.
“The call for more parking from businesses was consistent,” Dyster said.
The bump-outs set to be removed are on opposite sides of the 400 block of Third Street between Niagara Street and Ferry Avenue.
“Because we don’t have casino revenue we’re not doing some of the mill and overlay work that we would do normally,” Dyster said. “We were able to do this in house.”
The job will take about three weeks to complete and will cost the city approximately $30,000, Dyster said.
“After having consulted with business people and USA Niagara we decided to go forward with this project,” Dyster said.
The mayor said that the removal of the two largest bump-outs is not an abandonment of the original plan, which was to make Third Street into a pedestrian-friendly business district, but rather an adjustment to make the area more business friendly.
“We’re trying to match up the streetscape to the businesses that have emerged,” he said.
The elimination of the bump-outs will create a total of 12 new parking spots.
The city and USA Niagara will continue to promote the street as a walkable, visually appealing business corridor.