I like Central because it is large enough to have most food you want yet small enough to be easy to navigate. They seem to always put on more staff when customers start to line up at the checkout and they have a great supply of cardboard boxes if you want to avoid using tons of plastic bags and forgot to bring your own bags.
During the LRT construction on King Central’s business was seriously affected and they posted many signs around the neighbourhood pointing out they were open and showing how to access them.
Over the period of construction it has been very convenient to be able to use Braun St. to enter and exit Central’s parking lot but that route has now been permanently closed. Apparently the city has had discussions with the residents who did not want the traffic from Central to continue after King street was re-opened.
It is understandable that no one wants excessive traffic or noise on their street. But years ago Central was accessible through King Street, The Transylvania Club parking lot (which is now a medical building and fenced off) and (circuitously through a parking lot) Braun Street. Now there is just one entrance and exit which is off King Street. So as our neighbourhood has increased in density it has become less convenient to access our one local supermarket. Of course pedestrians and cyclists can still access Central through the Mt. Hope cemetery.
When you exit Central and turn left on King (towards Kitchener downtown) you used to be able to turn left on Andrew to get back into the Mt. Hope neighbourhood. This is no longer possible because Andrew is blocked by the LRT. I contacted our City Councillor, Sarah Marsh, and inquired if it was legal to drive past Andrew to Agnes St., then do a U-turn at that intersection and drive back to Andrew. She said “yes”, that this was legal!
I also noticed that, when turning left at the Agnes St. intersection, there is a long alley that runs behind the “Midtown Lofts” (currently under construction) from King to Louisa. It seems that with the ION route closing off some navigation alternatives, this alley might become more widely used that it is now. It is currently quite bumpy and in poor repair so I asked Councillor Marsh if the city was planning on upgrading this lane to handle more traffic and she said “yes”, that was being planned. I assume we will have to wait until after the condos are finished before that work is started.
Se we will have to see what happens after the ION gets running, but there will be a few options left to maintain a traffic flow into our neighbourhood.