© Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
Robert Hughes, chief administrative officer, points out design features of a proposed waterfront park in Stratford during a recent public meeting. Just over 30 people attended the presentation of the proposed design, which now goes back to Viridis Design Studio for creation of a final draft.
STRATFORD — Doug Johnson is having a lot of trouble with the third “P” in Stratford.
He is fine with a proposed public park along the waterfront as presented at a recent meeting at Stratford Town Hall. He’s fine with progress. His big beef is with parking.
“There isn’t any,” he said at the public meeting to see a draft design for the waterfront.
The project has three parts, with $200,000 in federal New Deal Gas Tax money ready to begin phase one.
The first element is a small waterfront plaza at the end of Sheppard Drive to house a commemorative fountain, extending out to a walkway along the shore to eventually link with the bridge. It will have lots of seating, and lookout points and maybe a way to get down to the shore.
Residents Audrey Christie and Margaret Ann Brown told the planners they saw nothing in that plan for children, no water pad for splashing fun, no play space at all.
“So all these young families moving in with all these young kids, we need something for young kids to do here,” said Christie. “Walking and biking and having a picnic can only keep kids satisfied for so long.”
Tina Beers, landscape architect and president of consulting firm Viridis Design Studio of Moncton, said that is exactly the kind of suggestion appreciated at this stage of the planning.
Resident Karen Douette asked about risk from erosion.
Materials and protective measures to cope with the environment will be considered later in the process, said Beer.
What happens when residents on foot or bicycle get to the Hillsborough Bridge, asked residents.
A consultant has been hired to investigate moving traffic on the bridge over to one edge, said Robert Hughes, chief executive officer of Stratford.
Barriers would then create a bike and walking lane protected from the traffic, said Hughes.
Stratford plans to present that consultant’s report, when completed, to the provincial government.
The waterfront plan also includes landscaping to partially hide the sewage lagoon. A third component is a gateway structure just off the bridge that will have a digital welcome sign on one side, and goodbye message on the other.
“What we want to do is thread along the edge of the water this public space and create a place where there are seating opportunities and viewing opportunities,” said Beers.
Her company will return to the drawing board with the suggestions for this week’s meeting, and create a final concept plan. That will go to a final public meeting, then council for approval.