Week of March 29

What? Didn’t they say SCITS was too old to be salvaged?

Sir:  Regarding the March 22 front page story, ‘Move City Hall into the SCITS building,’ it would seem that an ‘about face’ is happening for many with regard to the original urgency to close SCITS.

From what I recall, in all the input and media that was out there for closing the school, what stood out was that SCITS was too old to be salvaged, should be torn down, much too costly to keep open, too many renovations, etc., etc.

Now comes the suggestion that City Hall move there and occupy the building.  Other suggestions include a civic museum, a municipally operated theatre, public swimming pool, cafeteria and non-profit offices.

I must be missing something here. It seems like a paradox.  Any or all of these endeavours will involve a lot of cold hard cash!

Will the taxpayers be involved with a hefty raise on their tax bills?

The old St. Clair high school currently being renovated in order to amalgamate both St. Clair and SCITS students is, I believe, experiencing higher costs than originally anticipated (now that sounds familiar).

Maybe someone can explain the difference between having kept SCITS open as a high school and kept up to code, versus other residents having to do the same thing.

Yours truly,

Nadine Wark

Sarnia


 

Eliminating lane on Colborne Road will have consequences

Sir: I fully agree with Mr. Cullis’ March 22 letter regarding bike lanes. Sarnia does need more bike lanes. The benefits to all would be felt.

However, City Hall is proposing a north-south bike lane on Capel from Exmouth Street, and Colborne Road from the 402 to Cathcart.

To accomplish this, the city proposes to reduce the current four lanes to three lanes along the route, using a “road diet” to provide “active transportation alternatives.”

This planned reduction from four to three lanes covers two major intersections (Exmouth and Michigan) that already have a high accident rate.

The city is proposing to funnel bike riders into this area, as well as Northgate, in a heavy traffic area with a high population density area of over 1,000 apartments.

The “S” curves of Capel Street have several exit and entry points, and Capel and Colborne are a major corridor for emergency vehicles on an hourly basis. A lane reduction will do little to reduce response time.

Colborne and Capel are also a major Sarnia Transit route with over 70 trips northbound and southbound. Each time a bus stops, traffic will be blocked because it will be illegal to pass in a center turning lane.

Colborne at Michigan is also home to a Sarnia Fire station, and single lane traffic will impede the exit and entrance of fire vehicles.

Removing north and southbound lane will also remove parking from homes on Colborne Road. Side streets in the area don’t have the capacity for additional parking, and are hundreds of meters from some homes.

The current Highway Traffic Act requires cars to be three feet away from bikes. A separate paved bike route leading to the lake and Canatara Park area is already available on Front Street, and those travelling from the south end would be much safer using it and Maxwell Street.

Bike riders tend not to ride from November to April, and to remove a full lane from Colborne to create a bike lane does not seem to be warranted at this time.

Brad Christian

Sarnia 


Abusing animals for our entertainment no longer acceptable

Sir: Regarding the March 15 Guest Column, “The day I witnessed greatness at a Barnum & Bailey circus.”
Columnist Susan Ward was seeing the Ringling Bros. circus through rose-coloured glasses. Bending wild animals to his will, as Gunther Gebel-Williams did, is now condemned by anyone who cares about animals.

Today, no one wants to watch lines of battered and broken elephants or tigers cringing before the whip. Circuses still exploiting animals are going the way of the dodo bird.
Sincerely,

Jennifer O’Connor
Fort Erie, Ont.