Showcasing Sarnia to others
Sir: My co-workers at CMHA Middlesex have wondered why I commute from Sarnia to London for work. I compare my travel to that of a Torontonian, or even a Londoner, who takes an hour on public transit to reach the job. It just works that way for some people.
This past week, three of my favourite co-workers drove to Sarnia to meet me for a cruise on the Duc d’Orleans and dinner at the Alternate Grounds Dockside restaurant.
It was a relaxing getaway, but I also wanted to take the opportunity to show off what I have here in Sarnia, and what keeps me here. I can walk by the river, the bay, or the lake any time I feel like it without having to pass through a ticket booth. The Duc was relaxing. My co-worker Brenda loved looking straight into the water because she found it mesmerizing to see the white waves twirling off the side of the ship.
The next day at work, we laughed at how we felt relaxed and in our own little la-la land. We learned how a boat ride is therapeutic and good for our own mental health. During dinner we had sat by the window of the restaurant and watched a trout swimming around the dock.
They love Sarnia. They could not confirm the city is “an excellent place to party,” as rumour states. They noted, however, “Sarnia people appear very relaxed.” Other comments included, “No wonder you want to live here,” and “OMG, you are so lucky.”
This may be the beginning of a new annual getaway, and the end to the questions about why it’s worth the long drive home from work.
Nature trail an election issue
Sir: The subdivision bounded by Michigan Road, Highway 402, Modeland Road and the Howard Watson Nature trail contains a dead-end road called The Rapids Parkway. The city wants to extend that road to Exmouth Street by paving over the nature trail at the Highway 402 overpass.
This must be stopped. The nature trail is used by many Sarnians for walking, jogging, bicycling, and just enjoying the peace, the clean air, and beauty of nature.
Ontario has spent billions on the environment. Meanwhile, Sarnia is spending money to pave over a prime environmental trail. Why?
Sarnia’s official plan, says the new road will reduce traffic congestion at Murphy and Exmouth and at Berger Road and Modeland. Both statements are false. Residents of the subdivision use the faster, shorter Modeland route to Lambton Mall, and there is only light traffic at Berger and Modeland.
City hall also says there will be a nature trail next to the road. But the existing nature trail is narrow, not much bigger than two bicycle paths, and the very wide road will destroy the trail.
The existing Rapids Parkway is 52-feet wide, including bike lanes and a sidewalk. The space under the 402 overpass is only 45-feet wide, and after foundation barriers are installed will be only 36-feet wide. This will allow for just a narrow road, and a very narrow one-way sidewalk right next to a dangerous road. The sidewalk will be covered by snow in the winter.
Exmouth will be more congested, and new lights at the new road will make traffic slower, block the Pineview apartments exit, and make eastbound traffic into a single lane as cars turn left onto the new road. And home resale prices in the Wiltshire Park area will go down.
Few nature trail users know that it’s being destroyed, since the city has very poorly informed the public on this issue.
This must be an election issue, followed by a proper impact study open to the public.
The nature trail must not be destroyed.