Submission to Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
In response to the opportunity for public commentary to the draft Transportation Master Plan posted on NOTL.com, the Board of The Niagara Foundation feels very strongly that:
- The 30-day public review period during the month of July does not permit adequate time for study of and commentary on such a critical document, one that has far-reaching impacts throughout the Town and its transportation network. Public workshops to review the individual area recommendations, and to understand the consultant’s rationale for several of these recommendations, are essential to the successful implementation of the plan over the long term.
On initial review, it appears that staff and the consultants are proposing to engineer “modern planning concepts” into our heritage town. Conceptual planning concepts that may better align with greenfield design (connecting dead end streets, adding curbs and gutters, for example), run counter to sympathetic treatment of the heritage elements of the town and should remind us of the importance of engaging heritage expertise when making decisions on planning, engineering and/or operations.
- To be effective and to form the base for a successful long-term transportation solution for NOTL, there must be demonstrable, logical connections to all elements of the Official Plan.
- Given the importance and impact of tourism movements throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake and not just Old Town, there must also be clear and valid connection to the yet to be commenced Tourism Plan.
The Niagara Foundation recommends that Council not approve this plan (even in principle) at the August Council meeting. Should Council not agree with this approach, we would like an explanation of how the Transportation Master Plan will be aligned with the Official Plan and Tourism Master Plan.
The Board of The Niagara Foundation