MHBPNA delegation to Regional Council about Weber Street widening crossing

As many of you have noticed, members of the MHBPNA executive have been handing out flyers and talking with residents about putting a cross walk with a light at Wilhelm Street during the Weber Street widening.

We thank all of you who contacted anyone on the Regional Council about this very important issue. It is crucial that citizens continue to make their feelings known to their elected officials. 

On Wednesday, November 21, Chris Dewar and Lane Burman (pictured below) led our delegation to Regional Council to officially ask for the current Weber Street widening plan to be altered to include a cross walk with a light to stop traffic. (click on image for a larger picture of democracy in action!)

As we expected, Regional Council forwarded the issue to the Planning and Works committee because no decision could be made on Wednesday evening. Also, council indicated that staff should contact our association and engage in a productive dialogue about what kind of crossing would be best.

The next committee meeting is on November 27th so our hope is to meet with staff prior to that although they may not be able to recommend anything by the 27th. There are several possible options for a pedestrian-activated light including one that is solar-powered. And the exact location, particularly in respect to the railway line, must be studied.

One of the most encouraging elements of Wednesday’s meeting was the support given by councillors Jean Haalboom and Tom  Galloway. Both expressed verbal support for our proposal and they wondered if detailed consideration of the pedestrian element had somehow been missed in the planning for Weber Street.

The Blog will post updates on this issue after we have met with staff to work out some of the planning options.

Many other councillors have also expressed support to many of us who have sent emails or called. This is very encouraging because the light at Wilhelm is not the only issue we will need to address in the coming weeks.

For example:

–Waterloo Street will end at Breithaupt when the Transit Hub is built. This will block one current pedestrian, car and bike route to Victoria Street. Current plans for biking or walking through the Transit Hub are unclear.

–Breithaupt Street will not cross Weber as it currently does, and there are plans for a truck turn-around into a lane way. This seems like it will disrupt current walking and biking patterns and negatively affect use of the lane way.

–There are plans for a noise barrier wall along part of Weber that looks like it could become a graffiti magnet.

All of these issues need to be explored in more detail and this requires reading through many documents. There is surprisingly little information for citizens to get a clear idea of what is happening with this mega-project. The only clear image that is easy to find online is the artist’s rendering of the railway crossing bridge at Weber and Victoria.

Watch this Blog for updates.

Thank you all again for your support and please join the MHBPNA Facebook group if you would like to be automatically notified about Blog updates!

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