- Published on Sunday, 13 April 2014 20:44 13 April 2014
- Written by JORDAN KROSCHINSKY JORDAN KROSCHINSKY
Extension could create safer, less crowded streets, say councillors
Wait times for cabs, crammed streets and shoving shoulders to get that last drink at 2 a.m. are just some of the reasons why City Council requested to extend liquor service to 3 a.m. at the Council meeting last month.
Council members asked Mayor Naheed Nenshi to send a letter to the President of the Alberta Treasury Board and the Alberta Minister of Finance requesting amendment of current liquor service regulations.
If passed, patrons will also have an additional hour to finish up their last drinks after 3 a.m., but everyone has to be off the premises by 4 a.m.
Aside from congested streets at odd hours of the night, Council members also expressed concerns for police services being too stretched out at closing time.
The Calgary Journal reached out to the Calgary Police Service for a comment, but they stated they're waiting until the province has made a concrete decision before commenting on the matter.
Incidents dealing with fights, noise and public urination can be somewhat difficult for police to respond to.
According to the notice of motion released by the City of Calgary on Feb. 21, high demand is stretching out police resources between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating said he is in favor of extending liquor services. He said in atelephone interview that the extra hour will make the streets less crammed, and a lot safer.
"At 2 a.m., 1,000 people disperse at the same time. But if time increases, it drips 100 people at a time," said Keating. "Crowds will lessen."
There are also raised eyebrows over the "last-hour binge," said Keating, referring to over-drinking after last-call.
"There's no need for it, and hopefully people will disperse in smaller groups," he added.
Dragana Panic, manager at The Pint Public House, said there's also an evident plus-side of making a little extra money during the additional hour.
"The obvious up-side for establishments would be that extra hour of sales," said Panic. "As long as transportation is available, I think it would help".
With transportation already being a concern for City Council during late-night hours, Keating said he hopes these staggered closing hours will relieve some pressure off taxis, and lessen the number of impaired drivers.