A roundabout way of addressing dams & patios: Phil-ing in return

 

In homage and remembrance of the last Prince Edward County raised editor of the Picton Gazette the late Phil Dodds, this corner will endeavour on an irregular basis to recreate a ‘Phil-ling In’ editorial where views on a myriad of topics are offered.

UNDER THOSE PATIO LANTERNS

It’s a good thing Councillor Phil Prinzen brought forth his motion to ask for a municipal staff review on the practice of patios in the downtown cores of Picton and Wellington. Clearly, by way of comments from councillors, there are some changes that need to be made to address mobility and safety concerns and it says here that, given the popularity and uptick these businesses are enjoying, the fee schedule could likely be revisited. In light of new parking fees, $10 a day for occupying such real estate on Main Street seems somewhat meagre.

However, the junior councillor from Hallowell could have tried a more diplomatic track when presenting the motion to his fellow council members last week.

His comments in tabling the motion made it seem like his mind was made up on the matter and he was hopeful to rescind the bylaw to make “these patios illegal.”

Any of those with experience around the Horseshoe would surely offer a word of advice that having your mind made up on a matter this early into its discovery is folly.

A thorough examination into patios that includes input from the local Accessibility Committee and all downtown business owners in the vicinity of the restaurants taking advantage of the pilot project is not only warranted but should be welcome by this council as a planning piece for the 2020 tourist season.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Another bad crash at the corner of Highway 62 and County Rd. 1, the second in two weeks, should be ringing alarm bells with whoever has the interest of safety at the busy intersection.

It should be clear at this stage that new flashing lights aren’t accomplishing whatever goal the Ministry of Transportation had in mind when provincial body installed them earlier this year. Given the spate of crashes recently, any local driver with this knowledge in their back of their mind must be lacking confidence as they approach the intersection.

Wondering if a motorist is about to blow a stop sign on County Rd. 1 or a vehicle on 62 is about to cut in front of an oncoming car is certainly something that enters this driver’s mind every time he approaches the junction. Sometime this fall, if the province is listening and taking note of what’s happening here, they should be announcing a series of public input sessions with the ultimate goal of making the intersection safer.

A roundabout similar to the one at County Rd. 1 and Loyalist Parkway, while a hassle for large trucks and farm vehicles, is likely the safest and best solution for commuters moving forward.

TIME FOR A NEW DAM PLAN

Like many, I thought the high water levels of 2017 could be chalked up to heavy May rains, a rapid ice melt back north and a few other anomalies. Without owning shoreline, I only noticed the flooding when it came time to launch my boat to go fishing and my choices were severely limited. But everyday people are diving deeper on Plan 2014 and some are coming to the conclusion the operating plan utilized by the International Joint Commission that came into effect Jan. 1, 2017 helps improve shipping along the St. Lawrence Seaway and create more hydroelectric power while ignoring shorelines on both sides of Lake Ontario. If that’s the case and Plan 2014 is more about shipping and electricity generation, it’s time for the IJC to acknowledge their misstep and start working on a new plan.