Wednesday, 31 July 2013

We need Good Neighbour Hedges

Wellington Heights is a neighbourhood of walkers.  We range in age, from very young children, many of whom live with parents in the apartments in our neighbourhood, to very old folks, some of whom live in the retirement home on the site of the old Port Hope Hospital.

Some of us walk by choice; others of us walk out of necessity.  All of us need sidewalks that are soundly constructed and clear of obstructions.  Good neighbours with hedges that border sidewalks will keep those hedges trimmed.  We can easily speak of two types of hedges:  Good Neighbour Hedges and ... well ... Not So Neighbourly Hedges.  Our neighbourhood has hedges of both types.

An example of a Good Neighbour hedge is on the property at the northwest corner of Wellington at Croft, which is 2 Wellington Street.  This property has a hedge in three sections.  Section 1 is an evergreen hedge that starts at the corner and runs west along the north side of Croft to the western boundary of the property.  Until recently, this section was a Not So Neighbourly Hedge.  Depending on the time of the year, it covered from 1/3 to 1/2 of the sidewalk on Croft Street.

A few weeks ago, this section of hedge was severely trimmed, from the ground up to the 6-plus feet level, well back from edge of the sidewalk. The trimming transformed this section into a Good Neighbour Hedge.  Here are two snaps of section 1 as it looks now, from across the street and from the corner looking west along the sidewalk:




Section 2 of this hedge at 2 Wellington Street is a two layer, mixed lilac/evergreen hedge that starts at the corner and runs north along the west side of Wellington to the driveway of the property.  This is also a Good Neighbour Hedge.

Section 3 of the hedge at 2 Wellington is a lilac hedge that starts at the driveway of the property and runs north along the west side of Wellington to the north boundary of the property.  This section has grown over part of the sidewalk, to the extent that two NO PARKING signs, standing at the edge of the sidewalk, are are actually buried inside the hedge itself.  This section of the hedge is clearly a Not So Neighbourly Hedge.

Periodically, this section is cut back, but not enough to keep it off the sidewalk.  Trimming this section back so that the sidewalk was clear and the signs stood out from the hedge would transform it into a Good Neighbour Hedge.  Here are snaps of this section of the hedge as it looks now:  from across the street, from the driveway looking north along Wellington, and from the property boundary looking south along Wellington.





Another Not So Neighbourly Hedge on Wellington Street is on the property at the southwest corner of Oxford at Wellington, which is 29 Oxford Street.  It is a tall evergreen hedge that starts at the back end of the house on Wellington and runs south along Wellington to the property line.  The bottom part of this hedge has grown out over part of the sidewalk.  Because of its height, the top part of the hedge overhangs much more of the sidewalk than the bottom.

This hedge needs the type of severe trimming that was given to the hedge along Croft Street at Wellington. Trimming this hedge back so that the sidewalk was clear from the ground up the 6-plus feet level would transform it into a Good Neighbour Hedge.  Here are snaps of this hedge as it looks now:  from across the street and from the north looking south along Wellington.





It's worth repeating here what we said at the start:  Good neighbours with hedges that border sidewalks will keep those hedges trimmed.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

More on Restoring the Boulevard on Wellington Street

Steve Baldock
Roads Supervisor
Port Hope

Re: Restoring the boulevard on Wellington Street

Thank you, Mr. Baldock for responding so promptly to our message.  We appreciate the help that you and Peter Angelo and others have offered our neighbourhood in the past.  We regard you all as allies in our current efforts to re-invigorate our part of Port Hope, which some of us call Wellington Heights.

It is good of you to pass on to the Tree Advisory Committee a request to consider our neighbourhood as part of the 2014 tree planting program.  Louise Goueffic and I have attended some meetings of the Committee.  (As I recall, we have seen you in attendance at those meetings.)  We support the activities of the Committee and appreciate the efforts of its members, including the Committee Chair, Sue Stickley, the Council representative, Greg Burns, and all the Port Hope staff who attend and participate in the Committee's meetings.  We have published the details of the TAC 2013 Tree Planting Program on the Wellington Heights blog.  Here's a link:
http://wellingtonheights.blogspot.ca/2013/06/a-few-trees-for-wellington-heights.html
Thank you, also, for suggesting that restricting parking on the west side of Wellington might permit the regrowth of the boulevard.  (I am happy to have learned from your message that the usual term for the the grassy area between the sidewalk and the street is "boulevard.")  For the three reasons set out below, I believe that such a parking restriction should NOT be introduced.

Firstly, such a parking restriction appears NOT SUFFICIENT to address the boulevard problem. There is no parking allowed for the entire length of Wellington Street on the east side.  This restriction has not prevented the diminution of the east side boulevard, from a satisfactory width at the retirement home at Rosevear to almost nothing at the bus stop just south of Phillips Road.

The 6 photos of the east side of Wellington, sent in my message to Peter Angelo, show the diminution I speak of very clearly.  Those photos also show something else, namely, that what has saved the boulevard in the area of the retirement home is a curb.  Where the curb ends, the diminution of the boulevard begins.

Here again are those 6 photos:


  
































































Secondly, such a parking restriction appears NOT NECESSARY to address the boulevard problem.  The distance between the edge of the sidewalk on the east side and the edge of the street is sufficiently great to accommodate BOTH a 3-4 foot boulevard AND a parked car.

The 6 photos of the west side of Wellington, sent in my message to Peter Angelo, show this very clearly.  These photos also show something else, namely, that what has saved the boulevard in the area of Oxford Street is the presence of a large tree and a nearby smaller tree, which was planted last in the boulevard year to replace another large tree that had been removed.  Once past the area of these trees, the diminution of the boulevard begins.

Here again are those 6 photos:
























































Thirdly, such a parking restriction would cause undeniable hardships for our neighbourhood.  Space in the parking areas of Wellington Street apartment buildings is clearly limited.  In some cases, the limitation is so severe that some tenant vehicles and many (if not most or all) visitor vehicles MUST be parked on the street.  Parking must NOT be further restricted on Wellington Street to address the boulevard problem.

Instead of the parking restriction that you mention, Mr. Baldock, this is what I think might be considered to address the boulevard problem that exists on both the east and the west sides of the street:
Some type of curb-like barrier, not necessarily permanent and not necessarily uninterrupted, might inhibit cars from being parked unnecessarily close to the sidewalk, destroying the boulevard.
It might even be that simply planting more trees, with adequate supports, along the partially diminished boulevard would inhibit close-to-the-sidewalk cars, permiting boulevard re-growth.
This is a long message and I thank you, Mr. Baldock, for your attention.  We who live in Wellington Heights feel good about having identified the problem of the disappearing boulevard along Wellington Street.  We readily acknowledge that you and your colleagues are the experts who can identify and implement a happy solution to the problem.

We know that any solution you recommend will require time from town staff, money from town revenues, and patience and support from neighbourhood residents.  

We look forward to hearing what you think might be done, recalling that, in all of this, our goal is simply to re-invigorate our neighbourhood.

Regards,

William Hayes
Wellington Heights
Port Hope


From: SBaldock@porthope.ca
To: whayes43@hotmail.com
CC: KKynaston@porthope.ca

Subject: Restoring the grassy verge on Wellington Street
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:57:38 +0000

Thank you Mr. Hayes for your comments, unfortunately the 2013 tree planting program has already been completed.  I will request the Tree Advisory Committee consider this area as part of the 2014 tree planting program.
Further to your concerns regarding the gravel boulevards, one option may be to restrict parking on the west side of Wellington from Rosevear to the Medical Centre to permit the re-growth of the boulevard.  It is an option that could be considered as part of the annual review of the Traffic and Parking By-law.
If you any other questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Steve Baldock
Roads Supervisor
Municipality of Port Hope

Monday, 22 July 2013

Restoring the grassy verge on Wellington Street

Peter Angelo, P. Eng.
Director of Works and Engineering
Port Hope

Re: Restoring the grassy verge on Wellington Street

In the past, on more than one occasion, you have been helpful in matters of importance to the neighbourhood of Wellington Heights.  Today, I write to you with the hope of receiving some advice and perhaps some assistance with one more such matter.

In the interests of neighbourhood renewal and re-invigoration, we up here in Wellington Heights see a need for more shade-giving trees along our streets.  If we are to see that need met in twenty or so years time, we must begin planting those trees very soon.  However, the loss of the grassy verge between our sidewalks and our streets is a barrier to the success of such a tree planting program.

Wellington Street, the backbone of our neighbourhood, is a candidate location for tree planting.  Immediately below are two sets of 6 photos each.  These photos show how the grassy verge along Wellington Street is being transformed to gravelly shoulder and to paved road.

First, six photos showing the gradual diminution of the grassy verge at the top of Wellington Street, from the retirement home at Rosevear Boulevard north to Phillips Road:








Second, six photos showing a similar diminution of the grassy verge in the middle of Wellington Street, from Oxford Street south to the Medical Centre.








There is a need not only to cease, but also to reverse this loss of grassy verge along Wellington Street.  Will you offer some helpful comments and, perhaps, assistance to those of us who want to move this problem towards a happy solution.

Thank you for your attention.

Regards,

William Hayes
Wellington Heights
Port Hope

Thursday, 18 July 2013

My wish for Wellington Heights

My wish for the project called "Wellington Heights" is to see the citizens living in beautiful Port Hope accept the invitation to respect the great potential in this area.  As an ongoing project we, in Wellington Heights, have the opportunity, the ability and the energy to come together to  greatly improve our living conditions.

Beautification, community, cooperation and political strength are but a few of these.  We all know it is better to be in harmony with your neighbour as a friend than it is to be a lonely stranger in your own backyard.
Louise Goueffic  

Monday, 15 July 2013

Tree Planted on Wellington Street

Picture of the Bur Oak tree planted on Wellington Street at the back of the Medical Centre.



This tree was planted in June as part of the 2013 plan prepared by the Tree Advisory Committee of Port Hope.

Here's a link to the TAC web page:  Tree Advisory Committee.