Wyandotte St. E. is in trouble. Between George Ave. and Vernon Cres., pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers are in a perpetual battle for space. Often, speeding motorists put other travellers at risk. A car door or distracted driving can be all it takes. Rather than ticketing, it’s time to think of a long-term solution to solve the area’s dilemma, and it could be as simple as looking down the street. We’re talking about road dieting.
A few blocks west of Pillette Village the section of Wyandotte that runs through the Walkerville BIA is a slim, two-lane stretch. It’s also functional and allows for pedestrians and drivers of all sorts to fully experience what Walkerville offers. By prompting drivers to slow down and permit people to travel by bike and foot more easily, the BIA has come to flourish. It’s a system that is being used all over the globe, even in congested areas such as Times Square. Two lanes of traffic is not equivalent to disaster; it’s the road to well-being for all.
The time has come for Olde Riverside’s section Wyandotte to go on a diet, and here’s why:
Right now, many drivers do not abide by the speed limit within the Olde Riverside BIA This, compounded by the fact that there are only a few safe crossing spaces between these roads, indicates this stretch of Wyandotte St. is a disaster on wheels – literally.
However, by giving this area the Walkerville treatment, we can greatly reduce the chances of speeding-related accidents from occurring. If everyone is expected to share the road, caution is more likely to be exhibited, causing people to slow down and be more aware of their surroundings when in and exiting a vehicle. It’s as simple as that.
The Olde Riverside area is primarily residential. As such, on any given day, Wyandotte is heavily populated by students and children. With three schools in the area – Corpus Christie, Princess Elizabeth, and David Suzuki – youth between grades K to 12 cross Wyandotte St. frequently. After school activities, such as Riverside Minor League Baseball and shopping, are also staples of the area. So, if the area’s traffic problems continue to be left unabated, it will only be a matter of time before a potentially serious accident occurs.
The other staple of Olde Riverside is its abundance of independently owned shops. The quality and uniqueness of these businesses are extraordinary and supporting them will only go on to reinforce the community at large. Unfortunately, the current parking situation outside these companies is unsatisfactory. People just getting out of their cars must contend with aggressive and often unyielding traffic and bike racks are few and far between. If the area catered to the safety and enjoyment of all shoppers and travellers, this wouldn’t be an issue.
There are no downsides to making Wyandotte accessible to everyone. We are not discouraging drivers’ rights by welcoming cyclists and pedestrians. If anything, this will prompt more drivers to stop by. Why? Because we’re giving them a reason to visit our shops and see what we offer. When traffic is mellowed, drivers have the opportunity to observe the scenery and see what Olde Riverside has to offer. This is also the case for those travelling by a slower means of transportation or by foot. When not being bombarded by ferocious driving, and with adequate parking, they too can take their time along Wyandotte and stop by businesses of interest. There is power in leisure travel.
Wyandotte St. has so much potential. The population and businesses are already here, bursting with a desire for Windsor to thrive. If we truly want to ensure this part of the community does, however, we must do all we can to help them. We do not need four lanes of traffic between George and Vernon. We need to make sure the space between these streets is safe, memorable, and booming. It’s more than possible for Wyandotte to be one road for all.
For more information on “One Road For All”, please visit their website here