Pedestrian pilot project moving forward on Queen Street

by The Standard | Podcast July 23rd, 2020

For the sake of clarity The Standard has made sme small additionas to Ward 3 councilor Angus Ross’ quote. We apologize for not having clarified this commente in the print addition. Happy reading!

The Standard

Manager

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

SCUGOG: In order to provide safe social distancing space in the Port Perry downtown area, the Township of Scugog is moving forward with a pilot project which will see a portion of Queen Street closed to vehicles for multiple summer weekends.
At a meeting on Wednesday, July 15th, councillors voted to approve a plan to open Queen Street, between Water St. and Perry St., only to pedestrian traffic on Saturdays and Sundays, starting this Saturday, July 25th, closing that portion to vehicle use. The program is expected to run for at least four weekends. The portion of the roadway will close to vehicles on Saturday morning and reopen on Sunday evening, except for on holidays when it won’t reopen until Monday.
The Township will temporarily replace accessible parking spots lost on this stretch of road, by adding five temporary ones on Perry Street and Water Street.
Scugog officials will monitor this program to see if it is successful.
“Staff will be looking at surveying people within this space, just to see how it’s working. We will be surveying people using the space, and surveying the businesses,” Manager of planning Robin Prentice told councillors.
The proposal had gone back and forth between the township and the Port Perry Business Improvement Association (BIA).
“I think this is a balancing act between the BIA and the rest of our residents [concerns]. [All this is so,] not only the voice of the BIA, and a whole host of concerns are address, but the residents and visitors have the option of feeling safe and welcome. I also point out that this is a developing matter, and that to some, [it] is disheartening that there’s not a clear precise plan as we go forward, but I think, given the nature of the times, this is the way it needs to happen,” Ward 3 Councillor Angus Ross said.
In a press release, Mayor Bobbie Drew expressed her happiness with being able to move forward with this pilot project.
“In these COVID times we can provide additional pedestrian safety and stimulate the economic recovery of our local businesses. Rather than having congested sidewalks, the enhanced pedestrian areas will ensure the community has ample space to dine on local patios and browse local stores while maintaining physical distancing,” she said.