Estevan city council has received a request to approve another Tim Hortons at the northeast corner of Peavey Mart in the existing parking lot of the Estevan Shoppers Mall. All residents residing within a 75-metre radius of this application have been asked for their verbal or written submission on this proposal.
I am OPPOSED to this application being granted.
Issues such as:
Increasing the already high traffic and congestion on King Street. During certain times of the day and certain days of the week, turning into the Shoppers Mall parking lot at any of their openings going from King Street ties up traffic for blocks. Conversely, turning into King Street going west or east is a nightmare at best. There have been several accidents with vehicles trying to race the traffic off Canadian Tire's parking lot onto King Street.
The Fourth Street Tim Hortons has its own set of well-documented traffic issues within Estevan. I do not want to see those issues move to King Street.
Until the City of Estevan planning department can alleviate the traffic issues that have plagued King Street (turning lanes, turning lights, etc.) for a long time, adding this business will not make planning changes any better or easier in the future.
Noise - This is a residential area. The noise that is associated with Tim Hortons franchises is predominantly 5:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., and then after 6:30 p.m. daily - more so in Estevan with oilfield and others at that time. Increased noise levels for residential areas are becoming a common complaint. Why would we add to that?
Safety - Increased noise and increased high-speed traffic promotes unsafe traffic issues. With people walking to the Shoppers Mall, some children walking to school or getting off school buses, this type of business is a recipe for accidents of all kinds.
Garbage - People believe it is fair game to throw their empty coffee cups in and around Estevan. (I believe there is small printing on the bottom of these coffee cups that states it's perfectly fine to throw these cups out your car window while leaving the city of Estevan.) As this is a residential area, increased garbage from the Shoppers Mall plus garbage from Tim Hortons equals more complaints about the dirty state of our city, which Estevan city council and other city committees work hard at dealing with these negative comments from our own citizens and especially from out of town visitors.
Proposed Truck Route - As a former Estevan city councillor, many conversations were held about businesses that would thrive and survive when the truck route is built (which seems a million years ago), like a second KFC, Husky House, Tim Hortons, A&W, etc., that would cater to patrons going around our city, plus workers on their way out of the city, which then assists in alleviating the increased noise, traffic, garbage, etc. within the city limits.
Why would Estevan need another Tim Hortons not that far from the present Tim Hortons?
Take a look at what the cities of Regina and Saskatoon are trying to do with businesses like this. They have parking lot issues plus the issues I have outlined above. They are now trying to enact rules to prevent more of these businesses opening in residential areas for all these above reasons.
I know it's not popular to take any pages from the City of Weyburn planning books, but let's give credit. They did not allow their Tim Hortons to build within the city boundaries, even with pressure from the proposed owner. (Big write-up in Weyburn Review before being built.) Theirs is situated on the outskirts of the city, with a separate access road. Noise and traffic issues have been diminished, and they certainly haven't suffered financially for it!
If it's absolutely necessary to have another Tim Hortons in Estevan - and someone will have to convince me it's required - then make them go anywhere in the outskirts of our city, preferably the truck route when it's built ... but DEFINITELY NOT in a residential area.
If you have received a notice from the City, please respond. The deadline is May 9, 2012. Even if you do not reside within 75 metres of this proposal, please make your views known to city council that this business is not wanted nor required within our city limits.
Let's plan for the future of Estevan - not do a knee-jerk reaction to the present.