and Loathing on Wyandotte Street
by Elaine Weeks and Asha Tomlinson
City of Windsor feels that removing parking along the whole length
of Wyandotte Street is imperative in order to prevent future congestion.
Local business owners and residents alike are concerned that this
will be detrimental not only to business but also to the quality
of life in the area. The Walkerville Times has prepared this article
to help business owners and area residents become more aware of
what the city is planning and how this could affect them.
the Windsor Long Range Transportation Study (WALTS) was commis-
sioned by the City of Windsor to examine how traffic needs in the
city will be affected by future urban growth. According to John
Tofflemire, Windsor's Commissioner of Traffic Engineering, "The
study said that Wyandotte Street did encompass capacity problems
over the next twenty years and we have to do something about it.
A straightforward way to reduce traffic congestion is to remove
on street parking."
the fact that the city foresees the real problem occurring twenty
years down the road, they are making preparations to begin removing
parking much sooner.
"We want to be prepared." says Tofflemire.
Historic Olde Walkerville Business Association and the Wyandotte
Town Centre feel strongly that the city must keep parking on the
street. They presented their concerns about the removal of parking
to the City of Windsor in November, 1999 and demanded that if parking
is to be removed, sufficient off-street parking must be in place
BIA Co-ordinator Bridget Schellerman says, "Business owners are
opposed to removing parking and have been very vocal and concerned
about it. They do not want it to happen. They feel clients will
not have a place to park and they will not want to seek out parking
Richardson, owner of Icon for the Home on Wyandotte near Windermere
feels that the removal of parking would have definite repercussions
on Wyandotte businesses.
think people won't want to walk far to get to businesses. It will
kill the village look the feeling of the village community
and this [Olde Walkerville] is a part of the city that has just
made a comeback."
informed about business owners' concerns regarding the prospect
of losing street parking, Tofflemire responded, " They should be
looking at the business opportunities they provide. Wyandotte will
be connecting to east Riverside there is a large business
community there if traffic is increasing, so are business
opportunities. They should be making business plans if we
do not accommodate traffic, there cannot be growth."
disagrees. "People will be driving so fast they won't even see the
businesses along Wyandotte on their way to East Riverside. If people
do stop to shop, they won't want to cross the road to look at other
businesses because of the traffic. One reason I chose the Walkerville
area is for the feeling and the look of it its unique heritage-
if that changes then it does not make sense for me to be here."
says that speeding is not and will not be an issue. "Speeding is
not likely to be a problem. It's not nearly as bad as Tecumseh Road.
We already have signalization at major intersections that controls
the measure of speed. It will be far more efficient and environmentally
friendly if traffic is able to move at a good pace. There will be
Ingratta, owner of The Dressers on Tecumseh Road, between Gladstone
and Moy, is familiar with the dilemma facing Wyandotte Street merchants.
have been in this area for 19 years. They were going to take away
our off street parking too but we went to City Hall and we fought
it and won this was about ten or twelve years ago. We do have
no parking or stopping laws between the hours of 3-5pm. You get
a $40 ticket if you park during those times. If my clients park
in front of the store at 2:30 pm, they have to go out and move their
car; it is a hassle."
street parking was provided for customers and workers but Ingratta's
experience indicates that people prefer to park in front of the
store or business. "There is a municipal lot at the corner of Tecumseh
and Moy but it is usually empty." says Ingratta.
for traffic moving at a controlled speed, Ingratta disagrees.
"There have been a lot of accidents since it [the parking was removed]
just last week there was a big one people go too fast."
residents are concerned that the removal of parking to accommodate
four lanes of traffic will increase not only the volume of traffic
through their neighbourhood but also the likelihood that someone
is going to get injured trying to cross the road.
Loeper has lived at the same address on Windermere Road since 1956.
She is very concerned about the planned changes. "I am strictly
against it. There are a lot of seniors who live here and do not
drive- they have to be very careful with traffic when crossing the
street. I would not be surprised if I got hit."
is also concerned about the safety of children attempting to cross
Wyandotte, fears echoed by Paul LaJeunesse, principal of King Edward
School which has students living north of Wyandotte.
there is more traffic going more quickly, it could be dangerous
for students... you tend to go a little bit slower with the cars
parked there. For example, Tecumseh Road I see people speeding
all the time during rush hour."
and business owners don't feel that future congestion should be
a concern of City Hall. They feel that City Hall should be aware
of the fact that Wyandotte has too many speeders and too many trucks,
and they're worried that if the street becomes four lanes, things
will get much worse.
Drew, Katnandu co-owner, a salon situated on Wyandotte & Winderemere,
has been keeping an eye on speeders and the amount of truck volume
for a long time. "We took a count one day, just to see how many
trucks go by us in a half hour," says Drew, "and it was 69 trucks
- and that wasn't even during peak time!"
worries about other consequences as well. "We will be breathing
in more polluted air with the excess traffic, and the noise and
vibrations will be a drawback too. Already we are seeing cracks
in our ceiling from all the trucks!"
5 Councillors Alan Halberstadt and Fulvio Vanlentis share the concerns
of their constituents. Says Halberstadt, "I originally approved
the study but I am now opposed to the idea [of parking removal]
since consulting with merchants along Wyandotte. A lot of people
are dependent on parking in front of these places." He also feels
that the street will become, "a preferred truck route and it will
not be compatible with a shopping/retail district."
says, "I don't think it [removing parking] is necessary. There is
a little bit of benefit to the traffic flow but the downside to
the local area and the detriment to the businesses is greater in
the community's point of view.
adds, "The council is aware that there will be strong opposition.
Keep fighting it parking has not been removed yet."
you feel strongly about the potential negative repercussions of
parking removal along Wyandotte Street, please call Alan Halberstadt
at 973-8323, Fulvio Valentis at 255-6684 or John Tofflemire at 255-6341.
is The Walkerville Times' position that if City Hall wishes to reduce
congestion in Windsor, they should look at a current bottleneck
that exists on the stretch of Walker Road between Tecumseh Road
and the 401. This main north-south artery cannot handle the increased
volume of traffic generated by the big box stores (and there are
more to come) and the number of commuters accessing Chrysler's,
G.M. etc. The busy train crossing near Grand Marais is an embarassment
and causes massive delays whenever a train passes through-
isn't it time to consider an overpass?
don't even get us going about Howard Avenue south of the mall...
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