Parking woes cloud Regina Candy Cane Lane Christmas cheer
Candy Cane Lane in Regina sees thousands of people visit the main site on Champ Crescent every year.
Last year, there were more than 15,000 visitors, but organizers expect the number to be down significantly for the 6th annual event.
Organizers blame “No Parking Signs” put up by the City of Regina on Champ Crescent.
Residents can still park on Champ Crescent with a parking permit, but visitors have to park at least a block or more away, starting on 7th Avenue North.
“It’s cut 50 per cent of the attendance down, which means we can’t support our charities very well,” one of the Candy Cane Lane organizers Brian Runge said.
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“We’ve seen the problems, we got seniors and people with mobility issues, people with small children, they are either staying away or having great difficulty trying to park three blocks away and then come here. They are just saying they may not come back.”
City of Regina’s director of roadways & transportation Norman Kyle said the electronic signs were put up to ensure public safety.
“Champ Crescent Candy Cane Lane is a fairly popular event, it draws a lot of vehicles and pedestrians to the area. So, in order to ensure public safety in that area with traffic at this time of year, snowy, icy roads, we’ve put up traffic controls,” Kyle said.
“We want to keep people flowing through there and moving, so it doesn’t become congested. So, if there is a fire or an accident or somebody needs an ambulance or emergency services [they] are able to get in there.”
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Runge said there is an emergency plan in place that all volunteers review, but still the city won’t budge.
“We are all about spreading Christmas joy and Christmas spirit, as opposed to getting caught in this negativity.”
“This is a Christmas tradition that many families, not only from Regina, but southern Saskatchewan enjoy, but they are staying away,” Runge said.
The main site is the only house on the route to take admission. The money raised goes to local charities. Last year, Souls Harbour Mission and The Casey Foundation for Autism Support received $5000 each and $2000 went to the Normanview Residents Group (NRG) grant program.
Candy Cane Lane is put on by NRG, and has grown to more than 400 houses on the route. The last night to see the light show is Dec. 23.
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