MORE ON TWO MAYORS
I really wonder if the Mayor of Detroit has any interest whatsoever in what Eddie thinks about the border and a new bridge. Eddie basically repeated on A-channel news yesterday that he wanted to talk to the Mayor of Detroit about his letter to the Governor.
Can't you just picture it in your mind, Eddie cross-examining Kwame in his office about his opinion, just as if the Detroit Mayor was a delegation at a Tecumseh Windsor Council meeting.
It appears that Eddie thinks he knows better what is good for the region and the City of Detroit than the Mayor of Detroit who has already seen his roads fixed up to deal with border traffic. Our Mayor has sat for three years with $300 million available and still cannot have a decision reached on how a truck can get to the border. Where was he for the last year when he should have been boosting the tunnel option if he thought that made so much sense. Not just now a few months before the municipal election.
The City should withdraw from the Bridge & Tunnel Operators Association or at least ask for lower membership fees. Imagine, the Mayor and Chair of the Windsor Tunnel Commission still does not have statistics for border crossings for Super Bowl time.
According to the Mayor:
"Francis... added, the city has yet to get a handle on the final number of fans who may have crossed the border during the week of the Super Bowl, through Feb. 5"
Wanting to be helpful to the Mayor I can give him the answer. The numbers during the week before were almost the same as last year but the Super Bowl week-end numbers as I said previously were horrible, much lower than last year.
Come on now, Eddie must know the truth as well or else he better start getting some answers from DCTC why they do not know.
If he won't know the final figures on expenditures for another month, why is he making bold statements like he "expected Super Bowl visitors who stayed in Windsor spent about the same per person [as those who stayed in Detroit]"
Was there an increase in domestic economic activity during the week of the big game? Probably, and we should all hope so and be thrilled about it. Was there an increase that was the result of cross-border activity? Absolutely not! And we better start getting worried about that.
After all, the Star started running some stories about how good the shopping is now in the US!
THE PROCEDURE BY-LAW WENT MISSING
I was at Council yesterday and the session on the Sandwich heritage designation was interesting but the discussion was generally irrelevant to the Report. Since it all played into the border strategy of the City and the DRIC meeting is tomorrow, it was allowed to go on and on and on...
However, what was interesting was:
- a previous attempt at setting up a heritage district in Walkerville failed because of the problems with the impact on private properties as I mentioned
- if every building in the Sandwich "Pie" area has historical significance and could be viewed as "heritage," then there would be an impact on the City finances. For just a few buildings, I thought the number given was $10,000. Imagine if there were 2616 buildings!
- Part of the reason for this heritage designation was due to the "threat" of the building of the Twinned Bridge according to two of the delegations and a Councillor
Oh and the part that bothered me the most...if you dare criticize and do not jump on the "heritage" bandwagon, then you are a "naysayer." Especially it seems if you live in SOUTH Windsor.
Obviously Sandwich can be a prime tourist area but it needs money and developers interested in helping out. There are many ways to bring development to Sandwich without the need of making everything "heritage" under the Act and all of the problems that can bring.
HOW TO CLOSE DOWN THE TUNNEL DISCUSSION
If you are the Feds and you have had enough about listening to "tunneling," what can you do to end the discussion until you are ready to reject it? If I were them I would issue a "NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT of an environmental assessment" and in it say:
- "the recommended approach route from Highway 401 will be identified within a corridor that generally follows Highway 3-Talbot Road to Huron Church Road, north to E.C. Row Expressway and west towards the river. This connection is expected to require six traffic lanes, with the possibility of adjacent service roads, interchanges, roadway and railway grade separations and road closings. At-grade, below grade and tunneled freeway cross-sectional alternatives are being considered. The width of the right-of-way required is expected to be 80 to 100 metres, with additional land required in areas of significant grading, or for possible at-grade separations and interchanges. The study is considering the possibility of tunneling the entire freeway or selected portions."
And that is exactly what the Feds did on March 22, 2006!