Mount Royal reps want walking tunnels shut at night
The Mount Royal Community Association wants three pedestrian tunnels in the community to be closed at night to keep people on foot or bike from easily accessing the neighbourhood.
The association made a presentation at Thursday’s Board of Police Commissioners meeting, which passed a motion to investigate its concerns.
“It’s certainly the easiest thing to do but of course when you do that it impacts other users and groups who are using them for legitimate purposes. The city will now have an opportunity to look at those and if they are going to stay open that they are open at appropriate hours,” Police Chief Troy Cooper said.
The tunnels run under Circle Drive West, connecting Mount Royal to Massey Place as well as Confederation Mall. Students use them to get to and from school, but at night the community association says they bring trouble to their neighbourhood and are looking to the city for solutions.
"So it’s not completely shutting the tunnels down, no one asked for that,” Mayor Charlie Clark said. “But how do you make it safe and make it a place where unsafe behavior can't happen”.
Mount Royal resident Tara Lounsbury, a mother of two, said closing the tunnels would make her feel safer.
“I always get people coming from the tunnel and breaking into my car constantly … there's always crackheads, literally, coming from there all the time, " she said.
Dwight Stewart said he had just used one of the tunnels to get home from his job at Confederation Mall but thinks closing the tunnels at night might be a good idea.
Another Mount Royal resident, Tracy Young, said she once encountered a man who was injured in one of the tunnels.
“I think they should be closed. There's a lot that goes on back there at night. We actually had a person come to our house, he had been stabbed in the tunnels and we had to call him an ambulance. To me they are an eyesore and they are trouble.”