Haldimand County had long planned to build the new Cayuga Library in the Village Green, an area so quiet you can hear the birds singing. A 2013 staff report noted the community, the Chamber of Commerce, the Library Board, and staff were all in agreement on placing it in the Village Green. Everybody was happy. A recent poll of 317 residents found that 81% of the community still favour the Village Green site.
In 2015, things mysteriously began to change. On August 25, council asked staff to prepare a report on a location. Staff prepared six options for the Library Board. The Board came in with a recommendation letter that looks like it came from the economic development department, turning the library into a business and a tool for economic development, wanting it located on Hwy. 3.
In a defiant email, Mayor Hewitt rejected the safety warnings about the Cayuga Hotel site on Hwy. 3 from an academic and a professional engineer. “I am not about to get into a discussion over an issue that has already been debated and voted on.” He ended it by saying, “That time has come and gone.”
The Hwy. 3 site is a heavily travelled truck route. One daytime sample found 1,227 vehicles, including 118 big trucks, passed the Cayuga Hotel in 103 minutes, one every five seconds.
Accidents happen. Human error, mechanical failure, sleepy, drunk, or drugged up drivers, distracted drivers all increase the risk, especially to children. All westbound emergency vehicles dispatched out of Cayuga must pass the site, forcing all other vehicles to the curb.
The Village Green has about one tenth the traffic, with no big trucks and no emergency vehicles, and surrounding streets have stop signs. When a section of Cayuga Street was made one way, it utterly killed traffic in the area. All the myths about there not being enough room for parking or that there wouldn’t be any green space left are nonsense.
Evidently, safety comes first unless it interferes with a political agenda.
Grant Church, Cayuga