The following letter was drafted by the Southampton BIA and sent to the Town of Saugeen Shores following the completion of the phase 1 Streetscape improvements:
The Board of Management of the Southampton Business Improvement Area wishes to provide the Town of Saugeen Shores with its comments and concerns about the Town’s improvements, both completed and contemplated, on High Street.
In the Fall of 2017, after consultation with the Southampton BIA and other interested parties, the Town constructed curb extensions on the block of High Street between Huron Street and Grosvenor Street (Phase 1 of planned High Street improvements).
It is the Southampton BIA Board’s understanding that the purpose of the Town’s improvements was twofold: (1) streetscape beautification and (2) improving pedestrian safety.
The Southampton BIA has a number of concerns about Phase 1 of the High Street project:
• The sod and asphalt materials used in the curb extensions are not attractive and do not enhance the look of the street.
• The grass in the curb extensions will require additional maintenance.
• Snow removal with the current curb extension design is difficult for snow plows.
• The orange sticks placed around the curb extensions for snow removal purposes are unattractive.
• There are questions about the design and sidewalk placement of the curb extension at the northwest corner of High Street and Grosvenor Street and whether the design does in fact improve pedestrian safety at the crossing.
The Southampton BIA offers the following suggestions to the Town:
• Replace the grass and asphalt in the Phase 1 curb extensions with pavers/interlocking bricks that are more aesthetically appealing and require less maintenance than grass.
• Delay the implementation of Phase 2 of the High Street project (Albert Street to Victoria Street) until the Town has addressed the issues raised with respect to Phase 1 of the project to make the curb extensions more attractive.
• The sidewalks in the Phase 2 section of High Street as well as the sidewalks in the centre block between Grosvenor Street and Albert Street are in need of replacement. Upgrades to the sidewalks in these two blocks of High Street should be a priority for the Town. Phase 2 of the curb extensions should be integrated into a sidewalk replacement project and not done independently of much needed sidewalk reconstruction.
• Develop a long-term Streetscape Plan combining function, accessibility and beautification.
The Board of the Southampton BIA is grateful to have been included in ongoing discussions and would be pleased to have an opportunity to consult further with the Town regarding the design of the proposed streetscape improvements.
Melanie Myers-Chair on behalf of
The Board of Management of the
Southampton Business Improvement Area