By Chad Ingram
Published May 18, 2017
There’s erring on the side of the caution, and then there’s hyperbolic overreaction to a perceived threat.
Mid-week last week, just around the time the Gull River was cresting in Minden after a week of rising floodwater, Minden Hills township announced it would be closing the main street bridge to pedestrian use.
The bridge had been closed to vehicular traffic for days, courtesy of some large, concrete blocks.
With the Loggers’ Crossing footbridge also already closed by the township, it technically left residents with no way to cross the river by foot.
While said restrictions were put in place in the name of public safety, this was an unnecessary interruption to the daily lives of Minden residents.
Seems pretty problematic for, say, children on Newcastle or Prince streets in their walk to Archie Stouffer Elementary School.
Seems problematic for, say, a resident of the Staanworth buildings who doesn’t drive and needs to visit the pharmacy.
Seems problematic for those people who don’t own vehicles, who had no means by which to make the trek up Highway 35, across the Scotch Line and back down Bobcaygeon Road.
In a similarly unnecessary move, the township then closed the main drag to traffic, as well as “non-essential pedestrian use,” leaving Minden’s core looking like a ghost town, to the needless detriment of downtown merchants in a seasonal economy on one of the first weekends of the cottage season.
It is impossible to understand how anyone’s safety is compromised, or any municipal infrastructure threatened, by people walking to get a beer and burger at the Dominion Hotel or to buy designer pillows at Sassy Digs.
Of course public safety is of utmost importance during an emergency, but while caution must be taken, so must reason be maintained.
Thanks Hydro One
While Ontarians may be justifiably prone to protesting their electricity bills, it seems remiss to not publicly thank the Hydro One workers who helped to protect Minden during the height of flooding last week. Their efforts, and expert sandbagging, were appreciated by many in the community.