Stayner deserves a beautiful people-friendly downtown

 In Opinion

Stayner is embracing its past while looking to the future.

A downtown revitalization project aims to reveal the character of the heritage buildings that line the main street while finding creative ways to make the space more appealing to residents and visitors.

Meanwhile, local people say they just want to be able to cross the darn street. 

Whenever people talk about downtown Stayner, an overwhelming majority say the concern is traffic and a lack of pedestrian crossings. This has been a big complaint for more than two decades. 

The community is often heard saying they want more parking downtown and more opportunities to cross the street. What we hear from staff and the landscape architect hired to create a design plan, is that slowing traffic on Highway 26 through Stayner, reducing traffic and making more pedestrian friendly sidewalks, walkways and connecting trails will bring more people downtown. The fear, perhaps in Creemore too, is that people won’t come if they can’t park directly in front of the store they want to visit. 

There are places where no cars are allowed and it is shocking the number of people who flock there.

The goal of revitalizing Stayner is a lofty one but if done well, it will be very rewarding in the long term. Stayner deserves to have a beautiful main street lined with healthy businesses and happy customers. 

And good on council and staff for holding a public meeting Wednesday evening to hear comments from the community. People seem to embrace the general concept (which includes new sidewalk pavers, light standards and general improvements to the main street and the development of the area between main street and town hall, as well as the area near Station Park, possibly with a splash pad that could double as a skating rink in the winter, a fountain, stage, market square and picnic pavilion) but they are waiting on costs and how the whole plan will roll out. 

With a little urging from Councillor Thom Paterson, it was agreed that the next public consultation session would be widely publicized and communicated to the whole of Clearview, seeing as the entire project is to be funded by taxpayers. Barring of course, as Stayner resident Larry Culham pointed out Wednesday the provincial and/or federal governments open up the coffers and let the money flow. 

 

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