Showing posts from August, 2010

Shopping for retailers

Some time ago I went to a city seminar on vitalizing main streets. Speaker was David Engwicht. He gave us many examples of techniques that work. He cited the case of one Australian small city with a less-than-active main street, suffering from too many vacant storefronts. With business people, local residents, academics, landlords, merchants, they walked the street and identified each store front and envisioned what might succeed in that vacancy. Large posters were then put up in the vacant windows, showing people eating ice cream, buying magazines, looking at travel brochures ... the sort of activities the locals thought might work. It was a great example of crowd sourcing, since within 18 months there were no vacancies left on the street, and to everyone's amazement many of the storefronts were occupied by the businesses portrayed in the posters. Thus was reborn a happy mainstreet. The Preston Business Improvement Assoc (PBIA) is doing something similar. They have engaged exp

More on sidewalk and boulevard patio applications

Sidewalk and boulevard patios are a great part of living in the City. Unfortunately, some are noisy and bothersome to residential neighbors. The city has a policy for circulating requests. In addition, the local councillor may choose to survey adjacent residents. Without going into great detail ... a regular patio application at the corner of McLaren and Elgin has been turned down due to strong neighborhood opposition. Our association does not get involved in that particular request as its adjacent to but not in 'our territory'. An unusual motion is now going to transportation committee to approve the patio (it would be on city boulevard property). The Association in the following letter added our opposition to this particular application and supports a review of the approval process so that the policy is known and reinforced:  To: Transportation Committee, 1 Sept 2010 meeting: For the Sept 1, 2010 Transportation Committee meeting we wish to express our support for it

Otrain bike path approved

the 1963 segment between Young and Carling Transportation Committee met at City Hall today to plan some significant cycling infrastruction projects. The DCA wrote to each of the Committee members to draw attention to our strong support for the bike path along the east side of the Otrain corridor. We also asked neighboring associations to support the path, and the CHNA sent in a letter. The DCA president also appeared at the Committee to give the Association opinion: we pointed out that there is a gap in north-south cycling infrastructure the route is important for commuters as it takes them from various southerly origins to the downtown the route is important for recreational and tourist cyclists as it makes a "loop" from the downtown-LeBreton-WarMuseum-Preston-DowsLake-QE Driveway path this segment of path connects many other paths and will extend the off-road cycling experience right from the Ottawa River to Hogs Back, with side connections to an extensive set of ot