A loading zone on Manitoba Street in Bracebridge could be in place by the winter if approved by District of Muskoka council.

Mark Misko, the district’s Director of Engineering and Transportation, says staff have worked out a plan that is supported by the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area (BIA) and town council. 

While approved by committee, the plan won’t go forward until district council has its say at the December 20th council meeting.

The current by-law that regulates and controls parking on district roads within Bracebridge (like Manitoba) would be amended with the words “for commercial delivery vehicles” added between the words “loading or unloading” and “for taxi stands.”

“Currently, delivery trucks required for business operations are parking at the bottom of Chancery Lane in a live lane of traffic to meet both the commercial delivery and pick up needs for businesses located in the downtown core of Bracebridge,” Misko explains in his report to the district’s Engineering and Public Works Committee. He adds that this causes traffic safety issues for vehicles trying to get by and the people unloading goods in a live lane. 

“These concerns are only likely to increase as online order pick-up, shipping and delivery become an increasing part of normal business operations,” Misko continues.

The recommendation from staff will see two of the 77 parking spots on Manitoba removed between the Ontario and Manitoba Street and Mary and Manitoba Street intersections. 

Misko believes the impact on parking downtown will be “minimal.”

The proposed loading zone would be in front of the Little Black Bow at 34 Manitoba Street. Misko says trucks currently stop in front of Chancery Lane to unload.

Misko estimates the cost will be under $1,500, which accounts for the cost of new signage and line painting. If approved, Misko wants to get the signage installed this winter and expects the lines to be painted in the spring.