Thursday, April 9, 2009

Traffic, Museum and Earth Hour Savings

The Roundabouts are coming!

Long has the city wondered what to do with the five-pointed intersection where Norfolk, Norwich and Woolwich meet, and now city staff will revisit a previously proposed solution later this year when they float the idea of a roundabout. Now this wouldn’t be the first roundabout in Guelph, there are a few amongst the subdivisions in the city’s south end. The five-cornered intersection is the scene of numerous near-miss traffic accidents, for years being a source of right-of-way confusion for even seasoned Guelph drivers. "That intersection lends itself to something like this," city engineer Rick Henry said. "We will look at that as a viable alternative [and] we'll see if the city gets behind it." In a Guelph Mercury poll, only 52 per cent of respondents got behind it though.

More traffic news…

The debate over expansion of the Hanlon Expressway continued at a community development and environmental services committee meeting last week. Several community members spoke out about lack of consultation in changes proposed by the Ministry of Transportation, but committee members were keen to move forward. "At the end of the day we're not debating whether to put in an expressway; we're debating whether to finish an expressway," Ward 4 Councillor Mike Salisbury said. "It's there already." The changes will affect the southern Hanlon between College and Laird, which will see the elimination of lights on the Hanlon through the use of over- and underpasses. Many speakers were residents of Old Colony Road, behind whose homes will be a service road for the expanded Hanlon. The issue will come before council on April 27.

Royal City Saves More during Earth Hour

Local residences and businesses powering down for an hour on Saturday March 28 and reduced the city’s power consumption by three per cent, which is up four fifths of a per cent over last year’s Earth Hour. "Through our collective efforts we reduced our consumption, and perhaps more importantly raised awareness about how simple energy conservation can be," said Mayor Karen Farbridge in a press release. Overall across the province, Ontarians saved almost six per cent, or 920 megawatts, during Earth Hour. "We are grateful to all residents and businesses of Guelph that contributed to this year's event, and hope the actions from Saturday evening will inspire everyone's conservation efforts," said Art Stokman, President of Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

Save the Date

The Ceremonial Commissioning of New Council Chambers, in the recently completed Civic Administration Building, will take place on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm. The final council meeting in the old City Hall took place on Monday March 23, and although there is a planning meeting on April 8, this was the final gathering of the full council under the roof of what’s been the city’s headquarters since 1878. Council’s first business meeting at the new city hall will be held on Monday April 27.

Museum attendance way up

The numbers are in for the attendance at the Guelph Civic Museum over the course of their latest exhibit, “Egypt – Gift of the Nile,” and it seems that turnout was exceptionally high during both the Family Day holiday and over the March Break. According to the city, about 300 people visited the museum on Family Day and over 400 people came out to the museum on the Tuesday of March Break to see some visiting reptiles. Apparently, attractions like museums and galleries increase in popularity during economic downturns as people look for “cultural, affordable and fun activities for the entire family in their own backyard.”

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