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Sunday, October 2, 2022
Editorial: Start with seeking a solution
Editorial. Supplied

They’ve been called “massive overkill,” “a knee-jerk reaction” and “visual eyesores.”

All three descriptions of the 50 “no parking” signs erected along Four Mile Creek Road in St. Davids are painfully accurate.

The Region of Niagara, which either had a surplus of signs or felt the urge to order a huge number of them, has installed the signs along both sides of Creek Road in the vicinity of the Grist restaurant, a new operation, launched a year ago in the midst of the pandemic – and from all accounts, a roaring success.

Danielle Begin, who runs the popular eatery and pub with her husband Rob, made it clear to us in a news story a few weeks ago: The restaurant feels targeted. Looking at the region’s actions, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion.

Too much of a good thing or too much of a success, it seems, led to the parking sign gendarmes cracking down on the Grist.

A spokesperson for the Region of Niagara said driver, cyclist and pedestrian safety is paramount – and we don’t disagree.

The region also claims there were complaints about vehicles parking along the stretch of road in front of the Grist.

Who made those complaints, why and whether they were motivated by something other than legitimate safety concerns are questions we might never have answers to, given governments’ penchant for keeping secret the names of complainants.

As we’ve said before, that is really not a level playing field. But that lack of transparency is an issue for another day.

Perhaps having a large number of cars parked on that road does lead to “sightline issues from the curvature of Four Mile Creek Road,” as a regional spokesperson said.

But rather than using the equivalent of a hammer to kill a fly, why would the region not look for a possible solution, maybe for a limited number of vehicles to park there, maybe during certain hours only, maybe … ?

Well, if you don’t seek solutions, none will be found. Guaranteed. That is a long stretch of roadway and we think some sort of accommodation could have been reached.

“This area is currently under review by staff” and a speed monitor and traffic statistics are being used by the region to determine next steps in the area, we were told.

Cart, meet horse.

A review is a good idea, but was that considered before bringing down the proverbial hammer? That’s the way it usually works. Or should.

Fortunately, for the short-term at least, a good neighbour offered some relief.

The Petrullo Marketplace, located a short distance north of the Grist, is allowing customers of the restaurant to to use its parking lot when the Grist’s is at capacity.

Now, there’s a problem that found a solution, unlike the Region of Niagara’s reaction which seems like a solution in search of a problem.

No more knee-jerk reactions, please.