On Tuesday city council was expected to vote on removing the bus shelter and bench at Boitanio Park due to safety concerns.

On Tuesday city council was expected to vote on removing the bus shelter and bench at Boitanio Park due to safety concerns.

City council votes unanimously to remove bus shelter and bench due to safety concerns

City council has ordered removal of the bus shelter and bench at Boitanio Park because of safety concerns.

City council has ordered removal of the bus shelter and bench at Boitanio Park because of safety concerns.

At its regular meeting Tuesday, council voted unanimously on the removal.

“That particular bus stop is the transfer station,” said Coun. Craig Smith during the meeting. “There are people who are not happy transferring buses at Boitanio Park because we get people hanging out in the shelter.”

Rather than move the transfer station, council opted to remove the shelter and bench and continue with the bus service at that location.

When contacted by The Tribune Wednesday regarding the decision, homelessness outreach worker Wayne Lucier said moving the B.C. liquor store would make more sense.

“If you want guys out of there the liquor store has to go somewhere else,” he said. “I moved here in the 70s. I lived near the Tribune and the liquor store was near there too. I had people hanging out in my yard.”

It was the same thing when the liquor store was located downtown on Second Avenue and when it was in Boitanio Mall, he added.

Lucier visits the park almost every morning, often bringing complimentary coffee to homeless people and says the people hanging out in the bus shelter during the day when the buses are running are harmless.

“I haven’t heard any complaints about safety,” he said, adding maybe the city should move the transfer station instead.

Smith, however, said during the meeting there aren’t many places in the downtown area to relocate the transfer station.

“This is temporary,” Smith said. “We will see if removing the shelter stops people from hanging out there.”

Council also endorsed a report from the governance committee that recommended the power be disconnected and that staff place signage stating: “No Parking — Buses Only” and investigate painting the curbs yellow at bus stops.

 

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