Residents of the Niagara on the Green neighbourhood in Glendale are joining the growing chorus of concerns being expressed elsewhere in town over deteriorating traffic safety and excessive speeding.
The safety of pedestrians, cyclists and children are the main concerns.
To start to address some of their concerns, a new entranceway to the Royal Niagara Golf Club is being created off Taylor Road.
And this neighbourly gesture by Kaneff Golf is being applauded by the residents of the Niagara on the Green neighbourhood.
When asked why Kaneff was creating this new entranceway to the Royal Niagara Golf Club,
Pro shop manager Nick Costabile said the main reason Kaneff is doing it is “to address traffic safety concerns that have been expressed to us by residents about cars zipping in and zipping out of the golf club along Niagara on the Green Blvd.”
“The other reason is to take advantage of golf club visibility along Taylor Road, especially now that we have new signage there,” he said.
Like other neighbourhoods where The Lake Report documented safety concerns, people in Niagara on the Green say speeding vehicles, delivery vans and children’s safety top the list of problems.
Niagara on the Green is a large subdivision in Glendale that was built in three phases. The first phase one began just before 2000 and phase three was finished by 2014.
There are a total of 465 households, comprised of townhomes, semi-detached and fully detached houses. According to the 2021 census, Niagara on the Green has just under 2,000 residents.
It has become a close-knit, family-oriented community with residents volunteering at several neighbourhood events, such as the annual Easter egg hunt organized by firefighters from the Glendale station, the annual spring clean-up and other activities all centred in the neighbourhood park.
The neighbourhood features several crescents and long, straight streets where speeding has become a concern.
The entrance to Niagara on the Green is a long, straight, broad boulevard from Glendale Avenue to the Royal Niagara Golf Club and it gives the appearance that it could accommodate four lanes of traffic.
The posted speed on Niagara on the Green Blvd is 50 km/h, which is the same as on Glendale Avenue, a busy regional arterial road on the northern boundary of the neighbourhood.
That posted limit is a major source of concern, especially for those families living on Niagara on the Green Blvd as many a time golfers going to or leaving the golf club exceed the speed limit.
Deepak Singh and his young family own a home on Niagara on the Green Blvd. Singh is a stay-at-home employee who can view the street traffic from his office.
“I often see larger trucks on Niagara on the Green Blvd. going 55 to 60 km/h. I did not feel comfortable looking at that. This is why I want to express my concern with this issue.”
“We have an 18-month-old that has just learned to walk. He walks all around. With our small yards, within a short period of time, he could be on the street.”
Lianne Gagnon, who also works from a home office that overlooks her street, is speaking out about traffic safety.
Newly retired, Gagnon is busy working on a dissertation for her doctoral degree in education exploring the intersection of land, people and spirit in relation to supporting Indigenous sovereignty.
Her main message “is really around the safety factors and ensuring that our neighbours aren’t at risk to speeders.”
“I live on Stevens Drive and would say at times there are cars and delivery vans going 70 to 80 km/h some days. Fifty, if we could, would be better, not that I am advocating for that.”
Gagnon is especially frustrated with the lack of response when she raises these issues.
“I have complained to the Niagara Regional Police and the town at least six times,” adding she has filed a formal written complaint to the police and written to councillors twice.
Gagnon said she heard back from chief administrator Marnie Cluckie who said she would bring it forward. “However, things have still gotten worse.”
“We have at least nine new children on Stevens. I know two that are learning to ride bikes,” she said.
As Singh noted, many are running around and some children are playing ball on the street, she said.
In a brief on-street discussion, Karen and Karl Glauser said children’s safety is their main concern.
Karl Glauser is the principal of St. Davids Public School and he said at least 100 children are bused there daily from the Niagara on the Green neighbourhood.
And that does not include children going to St. Michael Catholic School in Virgil or the high school students who all must leave the neighbourhood to attend school.
Mike and Sandra Macdonald, who live on Cole Crescent across from the end of Robertson Road, point to the yield sign on Robertson as a problem.
They want to see more stop signs and fewer yield signs in the area.
Asked for potential solutions, both Gagnon and Singh want the town to first and foremost reduce the posted speed limit on Niagara on the Green Blvd. “Thirty or 40 (km/h) would be good,” said Singh.
They are also suggesting speed humps be considered on neighbourhood streets to help slow down drivers.
They admit that a desire for increased enforcement is hampered by police resources that cannot meet the demand based on the funding that is available. But more of a police presence in the neighbourhood would be helpful.
They are also hopeful the town might deploy speed minders in the neighbourhood to educate and remind motorists of their speed.
Many in the neighbourhood agree that relocating the entranceway to the golf club is a good first step by the subdivision’s corporate neighbour in addressing safety concerns.
Now they want both the town and police to take appropriate action to further calm the traffic and reduce residents’ concerns.
Steve Hardaker has lived in the Niagara on the Green neighbourhood in Glendale for over 13 years and is active in several community organizations.