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Niagara Falls
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Letter to the editor: From the horses mouth


Councillor Norm Arsenault should be commended for his independent analysis of specific roads or sections within Niagara-on-the-Lake that may warrant speed limit reduction. His suggestions include gravel road sections and areas of new residential development on Airport Road. His recommendation will be provided to the newly formed (how timely!) transportation committee.

The committee will probably do an overall study including main and auxiliary country roads, drawing “lines” and making “concessions.”

Two issues need utmost consideration in speed limit reduction — the proliferation of new development and horses and carriages.

New restaurants, Crossroads school, LCBO, the clinic in the Virgil corridor of Niagara Stone Road necessitates addressing speed limit reduction, left hand turns from driveways and erecting additional traffic lights.

On a more critical point, I visited Laura Sentineal recently and asked if I could interview the 20 ponies of the carriage trade. I wanted to get the info straight from the horse’s mouth. There was no crazy horse; they were all stable-minded!

Some were proud to claim bloodline from the advent of Sentineal Carriages in the early 1990s. This has been an intrinsic and traditional component of the Old Town heritage landscape, emulating the slower pace of bygone days.

And they weren’t horsing around when they concurred that safety between vehicles and horses/drivers necessitates reduction in speed limit in the entire designated boundary zone of Sentineal Horse and Carriages in the Old Town.

One proud fillie brought me a sign she made:

“Horse and carriage route — stay well back!”

She emphasized these signs must be posted repeatedly every furlong or less along the routes. It was plain horse sense to me; I wasn’t about to muzzle her.

After the team addressed the mane argument, I assured them that the Transportation Committee, town senior staff and council would act with fair judgement, kind hearts and open minds, and would assume a high responsibility in ensuring safety for the horses and drivers, in effect being the sentinels.

Fred and Laura and their wonderful staff have provided so much happiness and enjoyment to so many over the years. They are not about to foal their business now; the Town must support them given their current challenges. I need not elaborate.

P.S. Another female horse, who may one day run for mare, asked me if the town could also lower the speed on development. I answered, “we’ll see what happens.”

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