Another bridge?

Dear Editor:

The deadline for comments on Centre Wellington’s Transportation Plan has now passed, but I wish to inform readers of comments I have made to council regarding the need for a bridge on the Beatty Line.

I encourage readers to inform themselves of all aspects of the plan. Talk to your councillor about this. Some believe that these changes are years in the future, but 2030 is only 11 years away.

I live right next to where you plan to put the “Beatty” bridge. The house I live in was built in 1929 by the Beatty brothers. I have spent the last 18 years restoring it and the gardens around it. Currently there is a narrow dirt road lined with trees and gardens – this is the Beatty Line south of St. Andrew’s St. It dead-ends at a memorial arboretum and the Grand River.

On the river there is wildlife both plant and animal, trails along the river, nesting geese. So this will be lost so somebody can motor more quickly through town – to get across the river faster. This is progress?

What is most valuable to this community? Do we want Centre Wellington to be Newmarket? Or Milton? Or Cambridge? This community needs to be much more than just a bigger tax base. Shame that you would even consider that building this bridge is progress.

Currently the communities of Elora and Fergus have five bridges crossing the Grand River. One can also include the bridge across the 2nd Line west of Fergus – this makes six. Surely we don’t need another bridge, let alone two. Bridges are very expensive – we know this because Centre Wellington struggles to replace the bridges currently in the community.

What other ways can we fix north/south traffic issues while utilizing the improved bridges currently in existence? Rerouting trucks to bypass Fergus and Elora is an obvious one. Adding a turning lane on the Tower/Bridge Streets intersection would greatly relieve congestion at that stop light.

Keep what is unique and good in Centre Wellington. Don’t sacrifice it for a few impatient commuters.

I know that CW council and voters recognize the need to reduce the number of single-occupant vehicles driving up and down Highway 6 and Wellington Road 7, etc. – let’s put more effort in that. For example, I have been taking the commuter school bus to Guelph for over two decades. It is easy and very inexpensive compared to driving.

Put more effort into supporting this kind of public commuter transportation – beyond ride sharing.

Please don’t consider my concerns about the Beatty Line Bridge just NIMBY. I am also concerned for the future of this wonderful community.

Paula Menzies,