The bus stop fronting Askew’s has been moved down Lakeshore at the request of the food store to accommodate its proposed new entrance and patio. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm bus stop wheels down the road to make way for Askew’s patio

Two parking spots will be lost but area to become more ‘vibrant, pedestrian friendly’

What was once a bus stop is destined to become a patio.

In response to a request from Askew’s last year, the bus stop in front of the downtown Askew’s has been moved about 20 metres west down Lakeshore.

Dave Wallace, operations manager with Askew’s Foods, wrote to council recently about the proposed patio, saying that not only will it be good for business, it will complement the Treble Clef and surrounding area.

“Our store has seen a shift from the large grocery cart purchase to more of a basket shop store with ever increasing sales of grab and go lunch deli options,” he stated. “The addition of a patio would not only add to our immediately consumed offerings at our store but we feel it would benefit the downtown core, complementing the patio and treble clef art piece already installed this year.”

Read more: Askew’s undertakes $2 million reno of downtown Salmon Arm store

Read more: Askew’s owner objects to underpass

A city staff report explained that the plan includes widening out the sidewalk into the current parking lane in order to make way for a patio area outside and to the east of the store’s future main entrance.

“Generally, encroachments onto city land are not encouraged; however, the applicant is proposing to minimize impacts of the encroachment by widening out the boulevard area to maintain existing pedestrian facilities at the expense of approximately two parking stalls,” states the report.

Staff also pointed out that patio areas contribute to creating a vibrant downtown.

“Significant work was previously put into creating a framework to allow temporary patio areas during the summer months,” states the report; “however, there was minimal uptake on this option from the core businesses.”

In November 2018 the Downtown Parking Commission approved the general concept as well as the net loss of two parking stalls.

Staff recommended that council approve the plan as long as it’s subject to: approved engineering drawings and an opinion of probable cost; issuance of a highway use permit (which would include things like safety requirements, construction requirements and proof of contractor insurance); and a signed encroachment agreement.

Council followed staff’s recommendation.

Mayor Alan Harrison expressed his approval, predicting that the plan would make the area more vibrant and pedestrian friendly.


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