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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Letter: Too many cars descending on Old Town. We need a shuttle
Letter to the editor.
Letter to the editor.
Dear editor:
I have not read every word of the 168-page detailed and well thought-out proposed transportation master plan prepared by Stantec Inc.
However, unlike some residents in town, I don’t recall any mention of widening the already exceptionally wide Charlotte Street, which was paved and a sidewalk placed along its entire length from Niagara Street to John Street in the 1990s.
I very much hope that Charlotte Street will be signposted as the way from East and West Line to the heritage district.
I certainly always drive that route rather than the convoluted routing taking one down Niagara Street, then a sharp right onto Rye Street, then a left onto Cottage which takes one to the stop sign at King where one turns right.
However, on a recent weekend, I was going to see someone on Rye so I took that route and witnessed a distressing situation involving a family.
As I approached Rye Street, there were cars parked on either side of Niagara Street, forcing me and a family on bicycles into the opposite lane.
The father was on a tandem bicycle with a young daughter while the mother and a son followed on their own bikes.
As we approached the turn onto Rye, the father was looking nervously ahead and behind at the traffic.
I so wished there had been a sign at Charlotte indicating that it led to the historic district so the family could have zipped down to the paved path on the Commons on either Charlotte Street itself or the adjacent sidewalk without even one stop sign to hold them up.
I also wish that Zoom Bike Rentals had more children’s bikes so families wouldn’t be forced to rent extremely difficult-to-control tandem bikes.
I also failed to see any reference in the transportation plan to making the former hospital a parking garage
It would be a shame to tear down the brick building built in 1951 instead of using it as much-needed accessible housing.
I entirely agree that there are too many cars downtown and that is why in a long long letter to the town concerning the plan, I advocated for the town to provide free parking on the five acres of land it owns by the former high school and then provide a free shuttle into Old Town.
The shuttle would go along East and West Line to the Niagara Parkway and make stops by the Festival Theatre on Picton, the Royal George on Queen, and then return to the parking area by way of Niagara Stone Road.
As other residents have said the next master transplantation plan is Niagara-on-the-Lake’s last chance to avoid massive overdevelopment and this time the town had better get it right.
 
Elizabeth Masson
NOTL