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New Glasgow to expand parking at Kinsmen ballpark

The playground that abuts the Kinmen Club’s ballpark on Munroe Avenue.
The playground that abuts the Kinmen Club’s ballpark on Munroe Avenue. - Sam Macdonald

NEW GLASGOW

Relief is on the way for the crowded parking conditions in West Side New Glasgow during peak times of activity at the Kinsmen Club of New Glasgow Ballfield.

Council voted to approve the expansion of the parking capacity around the park. At their March 19 committee of the whole meeting, the members of council discussed two options for updates to parking for the area.

Parking space – and the lack thereof – during busy times at the Kinsmen Club ballfield has resulted in crowded, risky parking, sometimes with people double-parking on both sides of the road. The situation has resulted in the Kinsmen getting complaints from people who’ve gotten ticketed for improper parking when attending events at the ball field.

The option chosen by council entailed the levelling out of the current parking lot along Munroe Avenue, and the removal of a fence that separates the lot from the playground area. A new fence would be subsequently built closer to the playground, as the lot would be expanded closer to that area. Council was told the estimated cost would be $20,000, and would result in eight additional parking spaces.

The other update proposed to council was the construction of 20 additional parking spaces. This would include the construction of a new entrance and exit, drainage, and the removal of existing adjacent playground structures, to be moved closer to the wooded area nearby. The cost of such an update would be $95,000 – an amount that seemed rather high to some members of council.

“Ninety-five thousand is a lot for additional parking space, versus $20,000,” said Coun. Jack Lewis, noting that the area is only busy for part of the year, adding “you’re only talking about three months.”

Coun. Joe MacDonald said the reason council was looking at the matter of expanding parking options was to accommodate the growth of participation and activity at the ball field – something he was optimistic to see. MacDonald said he would like to see a longer-range plan, “looking, maybe, at five or 10 years,” he noted.

Coun. Frank Proudfoot emphasized the importance of the town partnering with the Kinsmen, to provide clear instruction to guests participating in events at the ball field, as to where they can and cannot park. Proudfoot suggested a good approach would be pamphlets with information on where parking is permitted, and volunteer assistance, at peak times.

Coun. Clyde Fraser stated he’d like to see improvements to signage, to prevent parking mishaps.
In addition to choosing the $20,000 update, council came up with some caveats for the parking update, including the need for additional signage designating where parking is and is not permitted and that the town collaborate with the Kinsmen to find ways to help visitors find parking during busy and peak times at the ball field.

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