Stolte and Kearns want to see streets made much friendlier to people during the summer - asking staff to come back with ideas

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr
May 4th, 2021
It was a last minute motion put on the agenda by Councillors Stolte and Kearns.  The wanted it know that it was a joint motion in response to the number of people who were outside walking the streets and getting needed exercise and fresh air.
The motion read:
Direct the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility and the Director of Transportation Services to explore options to increase the ability for physical distancing and safe passage in response to Covid-19 for the area of Brant Street (Caroline Street to Lakeshore Road) for Saturdays and Sundays, from July 3 September 5, 2021 with a recommendation and report back to the June 8, 2021 Community Planning Regulation and Mobility Committee.
Stolte and Kearns - budget book

The two of them cooked up their motion; asking council to waive the rules and have it heard immediately.


Community feedback has been significant in response to overcrowding on Brant Street downtown sidewalks south of Caroline Street to Lakeshore Road due to increased local resident use, outdoor retail/curbside queueing, and flow through of Spencer Smith Park users.
Options should be an interim response to public health concerns directly related to the ongoing relevance of Covid-19 community transmissions. Options are intended to manage physical distancing requirements in response to observed increases of non-vehicular usage of the City’s municipal assets. Under no circumstances should any modified use be an invitation to congregate in the expanded space. For further clarity, there will be no advertisement, event coordination, sponsorship opportunities or promotional efforts made to draw crowds.
Whatever Staff have to say will be heard at Council on My 18th.
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16 comments to Stolte and Kearns want to see streets made much friendlier to people during the summer – asking staff to come back with ideas

  • Deborah

    Unfortunately I don’t have the same confidence in our city officials as you do, after years of events, construction and highway mishaps with no good management of traffic yet. Sorry, but this is my experience so no need for you to answer me about this again. Just wanted to note my perspective, not have a discussion. Tks,

  • Susan Corrigan

    In addition it doesn’t help the traffic situation when streets are narrowed or closed to accomodate the developers.

  • Deborah

    As Lynn said, closures would absolutely result in increased traffic on smaller residential side streets. We can probably already report a traffic issue on the QEW or major arteries faster than a 680News Traffic report on our street, due to the immediate volume increase, as it’s one of the few streets downtown that runs straight for blocks and is without speed humps and multiple stop signs. Bad enough already without closures thanks, for the safety of the neighbourhood and the kids.

  • Blair Smith

    Editor/Publisher/Potentate of the Digital Page:

    I am somewhat concerned that comments seem to be reverting into personal attacks and unnecessarily aggressive ‘call outs’. I enjoy a good exchange and value an opinion different from my own. That dynamic is how we progress both as individuals and as a society. But we need to ensure that the discourse is both respectful and has some form of reasonable end. Just my opinion – for what it’s worth.

    • David Barker

      Mr. Smith,

      Please would you provide some examples of comments you find of concern. It would be helpful so readers may understand what you judge to be unacceptable.

      Thank you.

      • Blair Smith

        Certainly – a reasonable request. I find that your response to Ms. Crosby below bridges on rude. I’m sure that you disagree. I also believe that a long and tedious exchange that you had with Mr. Wooster in an other article went on beyond the point of constructive discourse. I have found comments left by Alfred/Albert have been beyond acceptable standards of respectful exchange. In general, I think that one’s objective should be to make their point to the best of their ability, then leave the field to others – unless openly challenged. I leave the field to you and will not challenge. You have every right to a contrary opinion.

        • David Barker

          Thank you for your openness and honesty.

          I agree with you that sometimes I do keep at it too long. But with the likes of Wooster and Bob I feel it necessary to refute the misinformation put out and positions of blind bias.

          As for being rude to your associate Ms Crosby. I am never deliberately rude. I was brought up better than that. Often though the reader does not take the same inflection meant by the writer. Your reading of my comment being a case in point. These are the only two sentences with which you could possibly have an issue, being:-

          “Lynn, that’s very dismissive of you.”

          “I would have thought you would have been a bit more embracing. Huh.”

          Am I right?

          Well, Ms Crosby in my view was dismissive in her comment. In my position, you or another might also have found that in itself to be rude. I honestly thought, knowing her stances on quite a few city topics, she would have been more embracing of the idea.

          There. That’s my piece! Let’s move on.

          My regards to you.

  • Susan Corrigan

    I agree with Lynn. Every summer weekend we have something going on downtown. The traffic is atrocious.During the SOM parade years ago lakeshore was closed and an ambulance that l had to call couldn’t get to us. If this was a cardiac problem mom would have been out of luck. Doubt l could have done cpr for an hour. Shout out to all the EMS people for the honourable job you do .

  • Eve St Clair

    Insanity runs amok on City Council . Perhaps Councillor Kearns when she double dips as a Liberal MPP candidate can ban cars all together . Free bus shuttles are never free nor as a taxpayer will I subsidize downtown shuttles when I reside in the north

  • Penny Hersh

    Closing the road is not a practical solution. The traffic situation is terrible downtown as it is. When some lanes of traffic were blocked last summer to allow for more space for people to walk it was a nightmare.

    Not only was it a nightmare for traffic it was a nightmare for people to pass each other on the extended sidewalks.

    People have to go to grocery stores, etc. and the idea of suggesting that perhaps we have entertainment etc. on these closed streets will only create more issues as people come from other areas of Burlington to participate, whether or not there is no advertising.

    Spencer Smith Park last weekend with all the people not wearing masks, not physically distancing was a menace and there is no automobile traffic.

    Perhaps these 2 councillors need to ask staff to make the parks safer. The last thing we want is to have more people milling around closed off streets, not wearing masks or practicing physical distancing.

    • David Barker

      Eeyore ! LOL

      I suggested to Councilor Kearns the following solutions to mitigate the car congestion of people wanting to get to downtown:-

      * Close of Lakeshore from John to Locust. Thereby connecting SSP to the downtown and remove the need for pedestrians to encounter vehicles when crossing Lakeshore.
      * initiate free bus shuttles between the downtown, Mapleview Mall, Burlington Centre, Burlington Go, Appleby Go. The City would negotiate free parking at those locations. The shuttles will drive consumers to downtown, and the two malls.

  • Howard

    Just close the road to cars from 8AM to 11PM all summer all weekends….and I almost forgot cyclists must dismount and walk their bikes. That is assuming lockdown is over. This should be adopted every summer actually regardless of a pandemic.

    • David Barker

      And close Lakeshore between Locust and John. Thereby connecting SSP with the downtown for a really great pedestrianized area.

      Doubters, it seems that Kearns is still focused on the best interests of Burlington.

      • Lynn Crosby

        I don’t think you can close Lakeshore because of the hospital and access to the highway at Northshore. All that traffic (and there is a ton of it) would then be diverted through small residential streets and getting through Brant at Caroline would be quite an adventure. Traffic also would be backed up very far on Lakeshore to the east and west of the John/Locust streets.

        • David Barker

          Lynn, that’s very dismissive of you.

          it can be done. Certainly it needs work and planning.

          Major cities in Europe have pedestrianized their city centres. Those pedestrianized city centre’s still allow for thoroughfare of first responders and commercial vehicles servicing businesses in the pedestrianized area.

          Lakeshore Road used to be a regional highway under the control of the Province. It is no longer. It is under city control.

          If planned properly the through traffic on Lakeshore Road heading to or from the highway stay on the highway. Commuter drivers seeking the short cut will very quickly tire of what would be convoluted side street get arounds, and will head back to the highway or major arterial routes like Fairview St.

          Jim Young, who was supportive of my suggestion to pedestrianized the downtown when I delegated two years ago to Council, spoke to council about how Glasgow has pedestrianized with great commercial and quality of life success.

          Change is not easy. But it can be achieved with planning. I would have thought you would have been a bit more embracing. Huh !