Mayor Bryce Nimmo says even if the issue of parking is reopened, there are not many options available to the town to make any more changes.
On November 9 of last year, Drumheller Town Council passed the controversial parking changes that have paved the way for angle parking to be replaced with parallel parking on 3rd Avenue. Recently concerned downtown merchants launched a campaign to pressure council to reverse its decision. Mayor Nimmo says there are not too many options left for council.
“There always is the possibility (to reopen it), but what I say is ‘what are you going to do?’” he said. “This is the best solution we have.”
He says, despite what some say, there was more traffic congestion this summer after the bridge changes were made. While he concedes the worst case scenario of travel trailers and campers bottle necking the core were not realized, there were more issues.
“All you need to see is people trying to back out of stalls, people lined up to the Napier Theatre trying to go west, and when you are driving down the street and don’t know if someone is going to be backing out at you, that is what I’m saying,” said Nimmo.
He says the changes were part of the negotiation for amalgamation years ago. Because the province has jurisdiction over the highways, and made the decision to change the bridge, it has affected the traffic flow.
“We have just gone up in traffic. We came up with a decision that not everyone is happy with, but I think in the end it will move the traffic,” said Nimmo.
Some local businesses have hinted that if the changes stand, they could relocate. He says businesses need to adapt to the new reality rather than pulling up stakes.
“Don’t play the game with the card you wish you were dealt, play the game with the cards you have, and play it the best you can,” he said. “Moving to another table isn’t necessarily going to be a lot better than where you are sitting.”
“I don’t see an exodus, hopefully I just see innovations.”
He says Drumheller continues to be vibrant and as it grows, traffic is only going to increase.
“The future is that we are going to end up with more cars,” he said.