Feb 282015
 

You ask.. We answer.

Q: Now that the construction of the Hwy. 406 overpass at Glendale Ave. is winding down, I was wondering if the city bus routes will change? It seems since the construction started, the buses have been re-routed around Glendale to the back of the Pen Centre along Chestnut St., using Jacobson Ave., as well as, Glengarry Rd.

A: When it comes to construction on busy Glendale Ave., drivers aren’t out of the woods yet.

The province’s Hwy. 406 bridge construction near the Pen Centre might be winding down, but the region’s Glendale Ave. road project will be gearing up soon.

That means city buses re-routed off Glendale Ave. to the back of the mall since January 2014 because of bridge work will continue to take that route for now.

St. Catharines Transit Commission general manager Dave Sherlock said it will be impossible to maintain schedules if buses try to enter the mall from the south entrances during the construction.

The Glendale Ave. project by the Region involves adding a lane and a centre median between the highway and Tremont Dr.

Mike DiPaola, associate director of transportation engineering for Niagara Region, said the region studied the congestion on Glendale Ave. and determined the addition of an auxiliary lane would improve traffic (Get 10000 free hits) flow.

The design phase is happening this year. Next year, there will be a relocation of utilities and some city infrastructure will be replaced. Construction of the medians and lane has a fluid time frame and could happen in 2017 and 2018 depending on funding.

Although construction isn’t happening today, Sherlock said the transit commission is maintaining the route behind the Pen Centre to maintain consistency for riders.

“We’ll monitor it certainly, and if we see any early opportunities to return we will,” Sherlock said. “The problem is we don’t want to create confusion where one week we’re on one route, and the next week we can use Glendale again, and the next week after that we have to get off Glendale.

“That’s not good for our transit users. They need to know where we’re going to be running.”

Once the bridge and road projects are done, buses will go back to their original routes.

Four bus routes traditionally enter the mall from the Glendale Ave. south entrances while a fifth has always gone around the back.

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Q: I was just reading one of your articles about recycling bins (Search Engine, Jan. 24). I was wondering if the region had put any thought into having recycling bins with lids on them? This would be a great help to stop litter from blowing around all over the place.

A: Putting a lid on it is something the Region has been considering.

Catherine Habermebl, Niagara Region’s director of waste management, said the department is going through a service level review right now, looking at various options at the curb. That includes considering what type of bin the region might use for the next collection contract in 2018.

Of the many options being explored is a cart-based program where boxes would have lids and wheels.

A report to the waste management planning steering committee in July 2014 looked at recycling box covers but did not recommend providing them to residents at that time.

It said manufacturers make lids to fit their own boxes but Niagara residents have boxes of different shapes and sizes. There are a couple of manufacturers that make lids for various boxes but they are not sold in retail locations. As a result, the region would have to administer a program to provide different sized covers to residents.

In the past, the region has looked at nets that go over boxes, but Habermebl said it was deemed too difficult to purchase and provide them because the nets fit specific-sized boxes too.

A report on the service review will be provided to the committee later this year.

A few years ago, the region moved to a larger blue box and more recently moved to a larger grey box so people could put more stuff in. It also moved from a weekly alternating recycling schedule in 2011 to collecting both grey and blue boxes weekly. Habermabl said that’s helped.

To keep items from blowing out of boxes, Habermabl advises residents not to overfill their boxes and try putting lighter items at the bottom with heavier materials at the top.

Residents who want larger boxes or additional boxes can buy them for $6. The region’s website has list of centres selling them.

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Fact Finder!

There are currently four municipalities in Ontario, with a population less than 300,000, providing recycling box covers in Simcoe County, Kawartha Lakes, Sudbury and Oxford County. A 2014 report by Waste Management found the four municipalities indicated there wasn’t much interest from residents in using them. They also received complaints about covers being thrown by drivers, while collection contractors complained about covers not coming off.

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Send your queries to Karena Walter by Email: karena.walter@sunmedia.ca

or by Facebook at www.facebook.com/karenawalter 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

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I change my route

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I wait patiently in traffic (Get 10000 free hits)

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I avoid it entirely

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