Narrow streets
Fewer lanes proposed for Franklin Avenue

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 06/98) - Franklin Avenue from 51st Street to 53rd street will be narrowed this year if the city's works and public safety committee gets its way.

"We're basically bringing the sidewalks out a metre on each side so that all traffic will be held to a parking lane on each side, and a driving lane with a left turning lane in the centre," said Gary Craig, director of public works and engineering with the City of Yellowknife.

Since 1991 there have been more than 200 car accidents between Matonabee and 47th streets. Fourteen accidents have been attributed to vehicles parked on Franklin.

The final design has not been finalized for the realignment, said Craig, and they are willing to look at other options.

"I'm guessing the idea is if we narrow the street a bit it becomes painfully obvious that you can't try to squeeze in a lane between the parked cars and the one lane that exists when it's not rush hour," said Ald. Robert Slaven. "That's wonderful."

Some residents have complained about troublesome cab and bus stops on the narrower streets.

John Dalton, owner of YK Cabs, echoed that concern and said cab companies should be considered by the bylaw before any changes are made because it is the cabbies's right to provide curb to curb service.

Customers want to be picked off and dropped off outside downtown buildings, said Dalton.

"There are customers who do not want to pay the additional fares when we have to circle the whole block around to come and pick them up because we can't stay there," said Dalton.

If a cab is spotted stopping on the on the street they are subject to getting a $50 fine.