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Cardigan Street Stop Sign: Part II

Staff have provided a preliminary response to the concern about the stop sign removal at Cardigan and Norwich Streets:


Thanks for forwarding the comments on the proposed change to the stop control at Norwich and Cardigan Sts.

Prior to responding I will gather all the information on the proposed changes along this block i.e. roadway narrowing, on-street park changes as well as the treatment of London Road and Cardigan St. All of which may help to alleviate the concerns being raised. Hopefully I can have this information to you early next week. In the interim no action will be taken at this location.”

The Full Monty on the New City Hall

The current Mayor and City Council are preparing to consult the public on what should be done with the court yard in front of the New City Hall.

Could the space be a public art gallery, naturalized gardens, buskers venue or a public skating rink? You will have an opportunity to provide input.

There is considerable interest in this space being accessible, enjoyable and affordable.

As we move through the process, some financial clarifications are in order. Below is a spreadsheet outlining the currently approved full costing report of the New City Hall as approved by the 2003-2006 City Council.

Total Cost for New City Hall

Excitement on Cardigan Street

If you haven’t been down Cardigan Street lately, you’ll be in for a surprise. Exciting things are happening. The Guelph Youth Music Centre is open and thriving. The Stewart Mills Condominium phase one is being occupied with phase two construction to start soon. Street reconstruction is underway with new sidewalks, newly designed park space and a widened street to be completed this spring.

However with all these new developments come some concerns from local residents.

The stop sign at the corner of Cardigan and Norwich St. is scheduled to be removed March 16th.

“I am afraid that the decision to remove the stop sign on Cardigan will lead to user conflict (and likely injuries) because it effectively creates a new vehicular thoroughfare from the top of Woolwich Street (near Eramosa) to the intersection of London Rd and Woolwich Streets.” states one resident.

“I don’t remember any public announcement about this proposed change so it was a bit of a surprise to see the sign (announcing the change) today.” states another.

One local resident wishes a new stop sign to be erected at the intersection of London and Cardigan St.

Another concern raised is the proposed use of an existing lane way to access the new Stewart Mills Condos. A petition is being circulated by local residents that oppose the use of this lane by the new condominium residents.

These comments and the petition have been forwarded to city staff for their review and response.

Walking School Buses

At a recent meeting with officials from the City of Guelph and Edward Johnson School, concerns were raised about the school bus drop off zone and parents driving their kids to school. Most kids go to school in a motor vehicle.

This raises a number of concerns. Childhood obesity has risen 50% in the last 15 years. In Canada, transportation accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Idling buses and cars create poor local air quality that can reduce lung function in developing children.

One solution is walking school buses. This is an organized group of parents, youth, school officials and police coordinating groups of children to walk to school. Defined routes are created, older youth are trained in street crossings and first aid and parents provide a watchful eye.

Studies have shown that 40% of a child’s required physical exercise can be achieved through one hour of walking each day.

Many children do not even know where their house is in relation to the school. Kids sit in the back seat of the family SUV, oblivious to the direction the vehicle is taking.

By walking to school, children get fit, learn about their neighbourhood and have fun doing it. Schools can even organize contests. Each class keeps track of how far students are walking each day and add up the totals. Could they walk across Canada or even around the world?

October is International Walk to School Month.

More information can be found at:

Safe Routes to School

International Walk to School

The following link is to a presentation made to staff and members of council by Catherine O’Brien called Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transportation Guidelines for Ontario

Walking School Buses

Bikes on Buses.

How do we get more bums on buses. With the increased public awareness of climate change, one of the many questions received by City Hall is how can we improve public transit in Guelph.

A question posed recently was can the City of Guelph have bicycle racks on their city buses. This would allow transit users to ride their bike to a bus stop, load their bike and travel across town.

Here is a condensed version of Guelph Transit’s response to this question:

“About eight years ago when Bike Racks were relatively new to the transit industry, Transit Services in consultation with the Transit Advisory Committee reviewed the issue. At that time, a decision was made not to proceed for the following reasons;

– with limited time available in the operating schedule, the time required to load and unload bicycles would delay the service
– the added length of the bus would affect the turning radius which is problematic on many of the existing routes.
– there were very few (if any) requests for bike racks
– it was felt the costs to add this feature would outweigh the benefit.

Since that time we have had very few requests for bike racks. Having said that, we can certainly revisit the issue. Although the running time on our current schedules remains extremely tight, there may be new racks available that would address some of the previously identified concerns.”

When does my sidewalk get plowed?

This is a commonly asked question. After every snowfall, the City receives many calls about snow clearance. Some people ask why we are spending so much money on sidewalk plowing and others complain that it is not being done fast enough.

Clarification has been provided by staff as to the City of Guelph’s policy on snow removal:

Our winter control policy has two parameters, mandated service for “roads” and discretionary service for “sidewalks”.

The roads are separated into classes depending on their traffic counts and their posted speed limits. The level of service delivery that a road receives is dependant on the road class. Arterial and collector roads are class 2 and 3 and are plowed at 2.5 cm accumulation. Bus routes are class 2, 3 and 4 and are plowed at 2.5 cm accumulation.. Residential roads are class 5 and are plowed at 8cm accumulation. City laneways are class 6 and are plowed when residential roads are plowed. Operations staff also service City owned steps and walkways to the criteria outlined in the schedule.

Sidewalks have been ranked in priority based on pedestrian counts. High pedestrian volume areas including school, church and institutional areas (first and second priority) receive plowing service at 4cm accumulation, residential sidewalks (3rd priority) are plowed at 8cm accumulation. All of the service level parameters have response times attached to them. The response time indicated is the time allowed to complete the service starting from the time the event ends, OR from the time we are made aware that the conditions exist.

The case for pesticide use.

A draft pesticide bylaw was recently rejected by the Community Development and Environmental Services Committee of Council. The draft bylaw would have limited the application of pesticides in certain conditions such as if it is too windy or too hot outside. Staff were directed to return to committee with a proposal that would effectively ban the cosmetic use of pesticides within city limits.

Arguments are now being made to Councillors to support the continued use of pesticides.

“If I as a homeowner wish to control weeds in my turf areas with a
product approved by the Federal government, please tell me what
conscionable right you have to tell me otherwise ?”

Also included with this correspondence were links to sites advocating the safe use of pesticides:,4-D-e.html

Apparently, municipalities do have the right to ban the use of pesticides as determined by the Supreme Court of Canada: