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The Weather Network
Nov. 30, 2021 | Tuesday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Gateway wall is a potential hazard for drivers

Dear editor:

Evan Saunders' article in The Lake Report of Sept. 30, ("Council approves new-look for Old Town gateway"), outlines the negative response to the first design.  

Back to the drawing board, councillors were given three choices and opted for number 2 – the redesigned gateway.

The new design roughly is going to be 24 metres long on Queen Street with about 25 metres of landscaped area and a height of two to three metres.

Niagara-on-the-Lake councillors have chosen to build a wall. Since 1989, walls have been coming down in every part of the world.  

As designed, the "bump out" area will some day get knocked down by a motorist, much the same as those small posts on the inside curves of a roundabout.

The golf course property near the gateway, specifically near the second hole, is low and fills up terribly during heavy rains. If the area is levelled for the wall, where will the water be diverted?

Or will it cause water problems on the second green. In the same fashion, will the nearby eighth green be flooded as the 24-metre wall becomes a reality?

I also read something of an "enlarged plaza, gathering space on the southeast corner. That would allow some congregation to view the sign across the road and take pictures ..."

That is a concern at one of only two main entrances to Old Town.

But more importantly we need to be concerned about accidents – and there will be accidents, rest assured.

I do not have statistics but one can certainly research data. Check with either Niagara Parks Police or Niagara Regional Police as to
how many cars ran through the traffic lights in the wee hours at Victoria Avenue and Niagara River Parkway in Niagara Falls, striking the retaining wall.

Or any street along the Parkway in Niagara Falls that also ends into the retaining wall. It's not a "traffic calming measure that would allow people to stop and enjoy the feature ..."

Certainly a better design, if really necessary, could be realized.

At present, the backdrop of trees on the course, along with the marvellous work done by NOTL parks staff in floral design, fits the eye perfectly.

It makes a beautiful picture of what the Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake represents. Start there.

Jim Panetta

Niagara Falls