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Town of Berwick changes up rules for parking near park

Annika Benedict, Catherine Kozera and Isabella Cres work diligently on a sand castle, enjoying the amenities offered at Rainforth Park. The popular park has seen recent growth, and in light of this, the Town of Berwick has enforced a parking ban on the adjacent Cottage Street for the sake of safety on, and near, the roadway.
Annika Benedict, Catherine Kozera and Isabella Cres work diligently on a sand castle, enjoying the amenities offered at Rainforth Park. The popular park has seen recent growth, and in light of this, the Town of Berwick has enforced a parking ban on the adjacent Cottage Street for the sake of safety on, and near, the roadway. - Sam Macdonald
BERWICK, N.S. —

The Town of Berwick is quickly becoming a great spot to go outside and enjoy the weather, whether kicking back on a bench in the shade, playing a game of tennis or ball, or cooling off at the splash park.
In order to accommodate the wealth of recreational activity at Rainforth Park, while preserving the safety of motorists and pedestrians, the town recently imposed a parking ban on what has traditionally been a popular area to park for guests visiting Rainforth Park; along Cottage Street, between Commercial and Foster Street.

Berwick CAO Michael Payne said the parking ban was implemented for the safety of the park patrons – particularly the younger ones.

“The park is seeing more use than ever before, particularly with the day camps and splash pad,” Payne said. “There was a lot of congestion prior to the decision.”
That congestion, Payne noted, was dangerous and entailed many people crossing the street to access their vehicles.

“It was basically a tragedy waiting to happen, with cars parked on either side and kids running around, trying to get to their parents’ vehicles,” Payne said.

The small disruption a parking ban constitutes, despite some of the negative buzz on social media, is hardly all that terrible, Payne said. He alluded to the ample parking available just off Cottage Street, specifically for those who wish to visit the park.

“You can park about 25 vehicles in there,” he said.

Payne said the parking ban was not the only strategy the town implemented to curtail dangerous behavior on Cottage Street. A speed bump was also installed.

“We’ll be removing that when the kids go back to school, the day camps are over, and the splash pad is no longer in use, Payne said, noting that it will make snow removal far easier in the winter.


WELL-USED PARK
Although feedback has been mixed regarding the ban, Payne hopes most people see the sense in banning parking on such a busy street, near a popular public space.

The park is home to a splash pad that opened last year and, as of this summer, the new Carol’s Place multi-use building.

The tennis courts are the next thing due for an update at Rainforth, with new fencing, and a resurfacing planned for two of them.
“One of those will be a multi-use court, and available for pickleball and with a couple of basketball nets on either side,” Payne said. “Kids will be able to skateboard and play ball hockey in there.”
There are currently three tennis courts in Rainforth Park. While two are getting resurfaced, with the requisite markings for the sports they’ll accommodate, the third court will be converted into accessible parking.

According to Payne, progress on that file is clipping along, with contractors preparing to do the resurfacing work.

Payne said all of that is anticipated to be done by the late fall.

“Next summer, we’ll have a fully-refreshed park space over there.”

Sam.Macdonald@kingscountynews.ca

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