If an area business owner has his way, the LRT platforms along 7th Avenue will be bright, welcoming and busy if city council approves completion of existing refurbishment plans.

Oscar Lapid, manager of Quincy’s Restaurant, said the area should be more of a public attraction where people want to go.

“They should add more lighting and make it more touristy. People are scared to walk down 7th Avenue,” he said.

If council approves plans to continue the LRT platform and surrounding sidewalk refurbishment today, local stores and restaurants think the area will be a lot more appealing.

The station in front of Quincy’s has been shut down for construction. Lapid says business has gone down by 60 per cent as a result and can’t wait until the work is done.

The 7th Avenue LRT stretch is one of the busiest pedestrian streets in Calgary, according to city documents, but Calgarians don’t like to stay there.

“It’s important that we make it a safe and comfortable place to be,” said area Ald. Druh Farrell.

“The pedestrian realm should be the best it can be in order to improve business. It’s long overdue.”

The 1st Street platform has already been completed and six more stations are slotted for renovation, while some are mid-construction. Each station will contain a public art component integrated into a glass canopy or located in the space surrounding the canopies. There will also be upgrades to street furnishings, modified bus bays, sidewalk improvements, and tree planting.

Ron Collins with Calgary Transit expects the renovations will encourage more people to use the LRT and increase business in the area. He said within about five years, four-car trains will also be integrated into the system.

The budget for each station is $89,000.