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Monday, September 26, 2022
Editorial: Coun. Zalepa and the St. Davids roundabout

Niagara-on-the-Lake regional Coun. Gary Zalepa seems to have made up his mind that a roundabout is the best thing for the main intersection in St. Davids.

But NOTL residents, whom he was elected to represent, overwhelmingly disagree.

So far, there’s been almost nothing but opposition to the idea, from nearby business owners who fear it will hurt their enterprises, to residents who fear it will simply destroy the character of the village's historic “Four Corners.”

And while we do understand the region's push toward roundabouts — we feel this is not the place for one.

Aside from it being too small an intersection for an effective roundabout without disturbing the character of the entire neighbourhood, we also question whether any traffic problem exists there.

We pass through that area regularly. Every week we deliver our paper to St. Davids. Not once have we experienced any significant or noteworthy traffic congestion at the intersection. 

There may be a brief stop from time to time, but certainly nothing to merit destroying the character of an already vulnerable neighbourhood.

And even if there is a minor traffic issue, Zalepa should remember that residents chose him to represent and fight for their interests, not to let projects move forward that could hurt our town's character — even if the region's planners and consultants are in favour of it.

Just because it looks good on paper, doesn't mean it's the right course of action. And based on the input of residents and businesses, and our own observations, this roundabout is a solution in search of a problem.

While we recognize Mr. Zalepa's right to cast his vote he sees fit, what's good for the Region of Niagara, isn't necessarily good for NOTL.

WIth a municipal election on the horizon, our councillor has made a choice that could prove unpopular with the electorate. We respect that but strongly disagree with his position. 

The region needs to scrap this roundabout idea … yesterday.