The work to remove the remainder of the large concrete planters on downtown Main Street has been completed.
City and private crews pulled out the structures and the attached benches and have since filled the divots with new bricks as part of a two-year project which began in 2011. According to Barb Haynes, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association, new benches and other amenities will soon be going into some of the locations.
“It just opens up the street much better, especially for those businesses that were always behind them,” she said. “Those planters were some 30-odd years old and they were getting a little tired. This is just giving us a fresh new look and certainly how we use the streets now is a lot different then they used them 30 years ago.”
She added this part of the ongoing revitalization work was a combined effort between the city and DPA.
“Last year the city asked us if there was a project we would like to see and we said we would like to see the planters removed,” said Haynes. “But certainly as the downtown we are going to make sure that it is still beautified and looks wonderful while giving people places they can sit and enjoy.”
In addition to the increasing maintenance costs associated with looking after the planters there was the ongoing problem with “street people.”
“The planters, or as they are more affectionately known the bunkers, provided a great deal of privacy so that won’t be the case any more and that means the benches will be used by everybody,” said Haynes.