Medicine Hat Media

Posts Tagged ‘Railroad’

Downtown Medicine Hat is a drag. Shops open and close regularly, driving around to find a parking spot is most often a nightmare and the only way to go between North and South Railway Street on foot is through a dilapidated underground walkway. Currently there are a number of plans in the works to revitalize downtown. One plan of which includes removing planters, at the cost of a huge sum of money, to make a few more parking spaces which probably will not return on the investment of spending so much for so little. Other plans fizzle out or are rejected by vote.

In reading Ticked and Tickled on the Medicine Hat News, one resident complained about how the Railroad is still in town. This gave me an idea: As the railroad is supposed to be moving its operation to the town of Dunmore, why not rip up the tracks and make a mall? A mall would help downtown immensely. It would help relieve the congestion of traffic headed towards Walmart on a daily basis, create many jobs, create an area for people to park in, and most importantly, unify the North and South Railway Streets. The railroad station could also be turned into a dozen cool shops.

The immediate problem I can foresee is that malls usually start off with a few chain stores, such as a Walmart, Zellers, The Bay, Safeway, and so forth. There may not be enough room for a typical square style mall, so an elongated one would be the best choice. Perhaps two chain stores on either side with strip malls and a big parking lot in between. Another possible idea could be a two story mall that could accommodate many more stores with a big underground parking lot, though, Medicine Hat may not be big enough for another large scale mall.

Another issue is that Medicine Hat is not considered big enough for some stores, but as the town just keeps getting bigger, a new mall may encourage new business. Some businesses would, of course, do better in a mall setting, such as Empire Gaming, which tanked due to poor location. It may have greatly thrived in the setting of a mall or in the heart of downtown.




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