The Town of Sylvan Lake has made the decision to close four parking lots during the winter months to reduce maintenance costs.
The four parking lots were chosen because they are under utilized during the winter months, according to the Town.
Pubic Work and the Parks department will have the parking lots closed to the public until April 30 of next year.
Moving forward, the closure will be scheduled annually, from Oct. 1 to April 30, weather permitting. The closures will then be evaluated each year for effectiveness.
“Concrete block barricades are used for this year, but gates might be considered for future closures,” the Town said in a press release.
The four parking lots closing for the winter, the lot at the corner of 44 Street and Lakeshore Drive; the lot directly east of the Credit Union located on 48 Avenue; the lot located on Lucky Place at the playground and the lot at Lighthouse Park on Lakeshore Drive at 51 Street, all have lots of parking nearby.
The Lighthouse Park parking lot can be opened for special events during the winter months, such as Winterfest, the Town says.
At a recent Town Council meeting, staff reported on the effect the Lakeshore Drive closure had this summer.
Overall, the businesses who responded to the survey said it was a positive experience.
Of the 86 businesses contacted, only 22 completed the survey. Those who responded said they felt little impact on their businesses with the street being closed on the weekends.
Many responded to the survey saying they would like to see the street closure become a regular thing in the future, with it being nearly an even split between those saying close the street all summer and only on the weekends.
Because the Lakeshore Drive closure was done to provide more room to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some rules in effect to limit gathering sizes.
For businesses that opened sidewalk patios during the closure, music could not be played. Business said this was something they would have like to change, as music provides a welcoming atmosphere for guests.
The town spent roughly $2,000 per weekend on signage and barricades to close a part of Lakeshore Drive during the weekends in August.