By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Downtown drivers may notice a few changes to their regular routes when the Pan Am Games roll into town at the beginning of July.
As part of the city’s Transportation Delivery Plan agreement with the province and Pan Am’s Games Route Network, several downtown streets will be modified to prohibit parking and Charles Street between Athol Street and Bruce Street will be closed to regular traffic for the duration of the games.
A selection of streets in the downtown core will be changed to become no stopping, standing or parking zones. These include the south side of Bond Street West between Centre and Simcoe, the south side of King Street West between Centre and Albert, Bruce Street between Simcoe and Charles, the west side of Simcoe Street between Bruce and Bond, Albert Street between Athol and King as well as Charles Street between Athol and Bruce.
Changes will come into effect on July 6, when training for weightlifting begins at the General Motors Centre, running until the end of the games on July 26.
During a meeting of council earlier this month, Councillor Nancy Diamond asked if any of these changes were negotiable.
“That parking is very regularly used,” Diamond said, also noting concern of the impact these changes will have on downtown businesses.
However, Ron Disky, the city’s director of culture and recreation services, said there are no negotiations.
The decisions were made during several meetings between the city and Pan Am officials.
Disky says the city will be reimbursed for the loss of parking revenue during the games.
Diamond also said she was concerned the changes hadn’t been brought forth before.
“For this not to have been highlighted in the beginning is significant,” she said. “I hope that when we do the advertising that we also look to encourage people to continue to go to their favourite downtown businesses.”