Woolwich sees strong response to Elmira urban design survey

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What should downtown Elmira look like? Woolwich Township staff have heard about what residents are looking for and the results are conflicting.

The Elmira Streetscape Urban Design Study revealed what survey respondents want when it comes to downtown design.

“I think there’s a mixed message about the different kinds of things people want,” said Deanne Friess, director of development services at Woolwich. “Some people wanted easier access and parking. Some people want an easier walk. Some people want easier access by bike.

The survey included responses from nearly 800 respondents.

“That’s a big, big number for a township this size,” Friess said. “So people are interested. That’s what it tells us.

According to the survey results, the top three priorities for respondents are ease of city driving, outdoor patios, trees and other landscapes. Other issues raised in the survey included the possibility of a new town square, raising the height of some buildings, creating mixed-use buildings with commercial and residential units, making the area friendlier for pedestrians, adding more parks, dedicated cycle paths and horse and buggy parking. .

Friess said certain aspects of the revitalization will automatically be incorporated into the redesign, including more accessibility, greenery and trees to keep the area attractive in every season, as well as improved street furniture like trash cans, benches. and bike racks.

Truck traffic is a recognized problem.

“It is absolutely essential that we eventually have to remove truck traffic from the road and direct it to the bypass. It is currently under study. We know it’s a long-term process, but it’s a process that this plan will take into account now so that we can plan for when those trucks are gone,” she said.

The Planning Partnership, the firm that carried out the study, is currently working on a final revitalization plan. This will include a short-term streetscape costing plan and a long-term development plan that will guide the types of uses and permitted development of the area. Friess anticipates that it will be sent to township staff in the coming weeks. Once reviewed, it will be made public.

Friess predicts that revitalizing the city could be a bumpy ride due to differences of opinion.

“Not everyone will be happy with every recommendation because there are these conflicts. Some people want to see it really pedestrian oriented. Others want to see it really geared towards ease of access and parking. These are therefore completely contradictory interests.

The results of the survey are available via the “Current planning elements” tab on the canton’s website.

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