By Neil Macmillan
Cornwall City Council spent much of its regular meeting on May 13 listening to a detailed presentation from a professional engineer on two commuter parking lots slated for construction this year in the Cornwall area.
According to Angelo Renon, a professional engineer with Stantec, Cornwall unlike many other municipalities in Ontario, does not currently have any designated commuter parking lots, whereas this is recommended for environmental, commuter safety and congestion-reduction reasons among others.
Both of the new parking lots will be located north of the city: one with a total of 32 parking spaces on the east side of Highway 138 in St. Andrews West and the other with a total of 71 parking spaces on the north side of the intersection of Brookdale Avenue and Cornwall Centre Road.
Both lots will be illuminated, have bus loops, post bilingual signage and be landscaped with coniferous trees.
Mr. Renon explained that the new parking lots were identified in last year’s Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Preliminary Design Study to recommend operational safety and other improvements to the 35 km of Highway 138 from Highway 417 in the north to Highway 401.
The proposed sites were then the subject of an online consultation process – a Public Information Centre (PIC) – from December 5, 2018 to January 4, 2019, for which the participation of a wide range of agencies and other stakeholders, including Indigenous communities, was solicited.
Mr. Renon said that the detailed construction plans for the two sites will be subject to a 30-day public review later in the spring.
In subsequent discussion with Council members, it was clarified that there are currently no precise details about how many people currently commute from Cornwall to other cities like Ottawa and therefore could potentially use the new lots for carpooling.
Council also received assurance that the entire cost of building and maintaining the lots will be the provincial government’s responsibility.