I’m With Joe: There’s Too Much Whining About Downtown Regina

The only thing not exactly right about this article is the snotty prairie dog-style headline, which is too harsh for what is actually a really positively-written article on our chaotic but headed-in-the-right-direction downtown. Check out this passage:

Downtown Regina is a great area, filled with interesting places to go and things to do. After years of little change, efforts are being made to make it even better.

Surely you’ve heard of city hall’s City Square project -the one everyone’s complaining about?

Last week, Viva Optical, Novia Cafe and Globe Theatre all blamed the project for downturns in business.

The owners have said customers are scared to go downtown. They don’t know which streets are two-way, nor where they can park.

But perhaps it’s a lack of patience and a fear of change that is preventing people from embracing growth that will benefit everyone in the long term.

Construction inconveniences are common -and not newsworthy -in other places. Downtowns of bigger centres change so often that residents expect to deal with new surroundings.

We’re not used to that here. But the complaints about the changes seem underlined by a sense that we’re entitled to have things stay the way they always were.

Businesses and residents have to adapt as the city changes around them. As with all construction projects, there is short-term pain for long-term gain.

We’re learning that here, though slowly, it seems. People want the city to improve, but they don’t want improvements to force them to change, even if just temporarily.

Perhaps a little heavy on the one-sentence paragraphs but otherwise, right on Mr. Couture.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

3 thoughts on “I’m With Joe: There’s Too Much Whining About Downtown Regina”

  1. Word.

    I still have hope that my new years wish (for Reginans to stop selling themselves and their tenacity short and adopt the mantra “Reginans can adapt to anything”) will be fulfilled!

  2. The thing Mr. Couture may have missed is what is actually being complained about. Without actually having talked to all of these businesses, the problem is not change, in and of itself…the problem is the way the City is actually handling the implementation of the change.

    I’m quite confident that these businesses were/are looking forward to the changes, however the massive disruptions in their business traffic have be a direct result of the city not really knowing what’s going on beneath their streets.

    Excrement occurs and anyone thinking this project was going to come in on time and on budget was obviously on very special medication. But its not the delays that are the problem…how the city handles the delays is the problem. Not letting businesses know the power/water/gas/whatever is going to be disrupted or telling them the wrong day or hour or CHANGING the day or hour, is not the fault of the businesses. Telling them a walkway will be put in and then not doing it the way you said you would is not the fault of the businesses.

    Not knowing what’s happening is the problem. Not getting straight answers to straight questions is the problem. The perception of not caring, is the problem.

    And finally, the BIGGEST problem is that we are only hearing from two or three, relatively small businesses. If these are the only ones yelling, then its not so bad, is it? Better to let three fall by the wayside than expend the energy required to properly and honestly respond.

    And guess what? “I don’t know” is a valid response. “I’m sorry…” is a valid response. A lot of times, if those phrases are spoken honestly, with sincerity, that’s all we need.

  3. One thing of note here is that 12th Avenue was originally supposed to reopen in the fall (albeit temporarily), but due to the weather last year the plan changed. So the businesses on 12th there were blindsided a bit there. Still, due to the decision to keep 12th Avenue closed, progress has actually made on the project during the winter.

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