Changing Beacon not a good idea right now

The declining value of the Canadian dollar will have a positive impact on tourism. This alone will greatly benefit Sidney business owners

The declining value of the Canadian dollar will have a positive impact on tourism. This alone will greatly benefit Sidney business owners.

Choosing to spend $250,000 precious tax dollars to change the traffic flow patterns in Sidney is,  for this and other reasons, a bad idea at this time. The public information meeting is to be held next week and it will be useful to point out a few things.

The traffic study commissioned by the Town talks at length about accidents in Sidney. In the seven-year period covered by the study there was only one accident involving a pedestrian. This accident was actually on First where traffic is two way. Overall there were  17 vehicle accidents on Beacon in the same period, the majority being  low speed, side impact accidents.

Where traffic is two way on Bevan and James White avenues, the incidence of accidents is much higher. It seems safety on the one way portion of Beacon is not really an issue.

If the two way option is selected and the recommendations in the study are followed, left turns will not be allowed on Beacon presumably for reasons of congestion and safety. Think about how inconvenient that will be.

As far as one can know from observation, business is not poor on Beacon east of Fifth. There is only one street level vacant space and I can think of at least six businesses which have either expanded or relocated onto Beacon Avenue in the last two years.

We all know business has been tough since 2008 but changing the traffic pattern and saying residents will adjust is like throwing the baby out with the bath water as residents who enjoy the Beacon strip the way it is may decide to take their shopping dollars elsewhere.

Barry Bell

Sidney