Monday, 13 September 2010

Sep 13/10 -- Letter to the Town about the STOP at Wellington & Rosevear

Peter Angelo, P. Eng.
Director of Engineering Services
Municipality of Port Hope

At the suggestion of Mayor Thompson, I am writing to you expressing my concern with the removal of a STOP and its replacement with a COURTESY X-WALK on Wellington Street at the Rosevear intersection.
Recently, as reported in one of the local newspapers, you remarked on the importance of maintaining a balance throughout the roadside environment. Your remarks were part of a discussion about the COURTESY X-WALK on Walton Street in downtown Port Hope. I understand the point of your remarks, I appreciate the complexity of decisions relating to crosswalks, and I applaud the efforts that you are making to achieve the balance of which you spoke.
Here, in a nutshell, is my concern: the balance for a crosswalk on Walton Street must be struck in a very different place from the balance for a crosswalk on Wellington Street. Consider the nature of Walton Street:
  • Walton Street is the Main Street of Port Hope and the centre of the downtown area
  • Walton Street has shops and curbs and parking and sidewalks on both sides
  • Walton Street is a thoroughfare for people moving east/west within the Town
  • Walton Street is a County highway for vehicular traffic moving through the Town
Wellington Street, on the other hand, is none of the above:
  • Wellington is a quiet neighbourhood street  
  • Wellington has one small plaza at the north end to which many, many people walk every day
  • Wellington is a route for many students walking to Beatrice Strong School
  • Wellington has no curbs and has sidewalks and parking on one side only
Wellington Street must, I feel, be preserved as a street for use by cars and pedestrians moving within the neighbourhood. It must not be transformed into a thoroughfare for vehicles moving north/south through the neighbourhood. Yet, I fear, that such a transformation is a potential outcome of the replacement of a STOP with a COURTESY X-WALK at Wellington and Rosevear.

Further, the Wellington/Rosevear intersection is critical because, as you know, the sidewalk changes at Rosevear from the one side of Wellington to the other. A STOP at that intersection provides a means to cross Wellington with security and safety. The removal of the STOP encourages pedestrians to walk in the road on the west side of Wellington north of Rosevear and in the road on the east side of Wellington south of Rosevear. This is not behaviour that we want to encourage.

Please, Mr. Angelo, in the interests both of preserving Wellington as a neighbourhood street and also of ensuring safety for the many pedestrians who daily walk up and down Wellington, consider returning the STOP on Wellington at the Rosevear intersection. Retaining the current STOP on Rosevear would, in effect, make the intersection an ALL-WAY STOP, which is, I feel, the appropriate balance that you spoke of in your remarks and that our neighbourhood needs for pedestrians and vehicles.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Sep 04/10 -- Message to Neighbours and Friends about the Port Hope election this fall

Neighbours and Friends,

Our neighbourhood, which I call Wellington Heights, is home to a very large number of people, young and old. But it has not received the attention and support from the Town that it needs to be a great place to live for so many people. For example, our streets and parking areas, our sidewalks and crosswalks are not good enough to ensure the health and safety of all of us who live here.

Dorset Street West, on the other side of the river, is home to 70-some odd residents. A recent story in the Northumberland News told about the discussions that the Town had with the residents when revamping that street. The Town consulted with them during both the planning and the reconstruction of their street.

A few years ago, some maintenance was done to the south end of Wellington Street. This past spring, the STOP at Rosevear was removed and replaced by a COURTESY X-WALK. The Town had no discussions with any of the many hundreds of us who live here before doing any of this work. We need to be involved in all such changes.

It seems to me that we need to say two things to the Town:

1. Ask us what we think of changes you want to make
2. Listen to what changes we think you ought to make

The previous post in this blog (Message to candidates for Mayor and Council) is a message I am sending to all candidates for Mayor or Council of Port Hope. In my message, I ask candidates running in the election to do for us what they did for the people living on Dorset Street West: talk with us about changes to our neighbourhood that affect our health and safety. This seems reasonable to me. If you agree, please send your own message to the people running in the election. Names and email addresses for candidates are shown below.


Bill Hayes

Mayor Linda Thompson
Candidate John Floyd
Candidate Bob Chatten
Candidate William Spotton
Candidate Davidson Tate

Deputy Mayor Jeff Lees
Councillor Cal Morgan
Councillor Karen O’Hara
Councillor David Turck
Councillor Ted Watts
Candidate Rick Austin

Sep 04/10 -- Message to candidates for Mayor and Council

Dear Candidate:

During the forthcoming municipal election campaign, I will be a one-issue voter and that one issue will be my neighbourhood of Wellington Heights:

• Phillips Road south to Croft Street
• Ontario Street east to Rose Glen Road.

Wellington Street is the backbone of our neighbourhood.

A friend of mine, recently visiting me from across the river on Brown Street, remarked that the area she saw walking up Wellington Street looked like what must be the slum of Port Hope. “There is nothing like it on our side of the River,” she said. Compared with other neighbourhoods in Port Hope, Wellington Heights seemed to her to have been overlooked and underserved. I agree.

For example, the Town recent undertook a “traffic calming” revamp of Dorset Street West. During both planning and construction of that project, discussions were held between the municipality and representatives of the “70-some odd” Dorset Street residents.

In contrast, the removal of the STOP at the Wellington/Rosevear intersection and its replacement with a COURTESY X-WALK involved no such discussions with representatives of the many hundreds of Wellington Heights residents. Yet, if there is one street in Port Hope that needs “traffic calming” because it must not be allowed to turn into a racetrack, it is Wellington Street.

The many people who daily walk up and down Wellington Street, so many of whom are children, need their health and safety to be important to you. As a start, they need a commitment from you that the consultation model used for the Dorset Street revamp will be extended to changes that affect the health and safety of the residents of Wellington Heights.

Regards and good luck in the campaign,

William Hayes