Residents offer thoughts on Elizabeth Avenue development

Alisha Morrissey
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Increased traffic to neighbourhood listed as major concern

The residents of the Elizabeth Avenue area of St. John's say they're already loyal Pipers shoppers - but they'd be happier neighbours if traffic problems in the area were fixed.

Several people at Wednesday night's public meeting - to talk about Pipers' request to rezone the lot from commercial industrial to commercial neighbourhood zone - said they liked the idea of having a Pipers store in the area, but not the idea of increased traffic and the problems that may come with it.

Residents huddle around artist renderings and maps of the area proposed for a Pipers Department Store development at the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and New Cove Road. - Photo by Alisha Morrissey/The Telegram

The residents of the Elizabeth Avenue area of St. John's say they're already loyal Pipers shoppers - but they'd be happier neighbours if traffic problems in the area were fixed.

Several people at Wednesday night's public meeting - to talk about Pipers' request to rezone the lot from commercial industrial to commercial neighbourhood zone - said they liked the idea of having a Pipers store in the area, but not the idea of increased traffic and the problems that may come with it.

Residents' complaints at the public meeting about the development, at the corner of New Cove Road and Elizabeth Avenue at a former car dealership, weren't leveled at the developer. Rather the city's director of traffic services was the target of most of the residents' concerns.

Robin King was bombarded with questions about increased traffic in the area, not just as a result of the new development, but over the last number of years. In specific, several residents asked for a new left-turn signal at the New Cove Road and Elizabeth Avenue intersection.

The development proposal included a traffic study of the three closest intersections based on estimates of customers at the new store. Traffic officials said their models showed there would not be a significant increase in traffic, mostly because there would be two entrances and exits on two separate sides of the building. As well, the store's parking lot would be connected to the adjacent Canadian Tire parking lot, allowing for a third exit.

Residents raised issues about the difficulty getting around the area after a snowfall, when the four lanes of traffic are reduced to two, and the several alternate routes they've had to come up with to avoid the whole Elizabeth Avenue area to get home.

When King would attempt to explain the city does in-depth studies on traffic volumes to determine if additional signals are warranted, residents said he didn't live in the area and couldn't know how bad the intersection at New Cove Road is.

City officials promised to look at the traffic in the area, but couldn't guarantee any changes to the area.

"If you want people to shop at your store, you have to make it as safe and easy as possible," said area resident Anna Guest, who also raised questions about the building's facade, which looks to be blocked siding from artist drawings.

She and others wanted to see something more fitted to the area, like brick.

"And I am a Pipers shopper," she mentioned as she sat down.

After the meeting Pipers president Jamie Allister said it was positive and that the neighbours had good questions and ideas, some of which may be incorporated into the final design should the rezoning get approved by the city.

Pipers officials used the meeting to declare their intention to reduce the actual space of the building to 22,400 square feet from the current 35,400 and to accommodate 111 parking spaces. The store will create 30 new jobs, Pipers general manager Glen Skinner saidd and will allow the company to continue to offer quality local products and services at the best possible prices.

As well, the development will have two small boutique stores for rent on the property. It will be well lit 24 hours a day and will have around-the-clock surveillance cameras to enhance safety in the neighbourhood.

Allister said the store does regular cleanup of its lots, two to three times a day if necessary, and told residents t the city's requirements for fencing at the rear of the building will be met.

amorrissey@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canadian Tire

Geographic location: Elizabeth Avenue, New Cove Road, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Personally I would be more concerned about the building height...Pipers better not being adding height to that building or there may be risk of blocking view planes and creating an ugly monstrosity . Id much rather see a run down abandoned building myself...fits better in this city!

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Pipers traffic would just replace the old Dominion Supermarkets traffic located just eastof the proposed pipers, that bldg.has been sitting as an eyesore since the Memorial Dominion opened.Come on people,let's not have anoyher eyesore and let Pipers develop.

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    With that being said, I've never seen a traffic problem in that part of the city anyway. That's just another excuse the anti-development nuts have on the backburner.

    The majority of traffic uses the Prince Philip parkway in that area, and Elizabeth Avenue really quiets down east of Bonaventure/Allandale anyway. That would probably be the busiest intersection, maybe even the stop sign-controlled terminus with Freshwater Road. I've never seen a line-up of cars at New Cove or Portugal Cove, nothing extreme anyway.

    This is a city - there's going to be traffic. Don't like it? Move out to one of the many rural Newfoundland towns. You can see the harbour there too!

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I don't live in the area but when I do have to be down that way I dread it because of the traffic

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    People in this city are unreal. First it's the Fortis development, that hotel on Prescott Street, condos on Temperance Street, a freakin' discount store on Elizabeth Avenue, housing in Mount Pearl, no matter what the development there's someone in this city to complain about it and the media ready to stir up the controversy.

    These people seriously need to get a life. Traffic problems? There's already a Canadian Tire store on that intersection. I'm sure that attracts more traffic than Pipers ever will.

    God forbid anyone attempt to build anything in St. John's. No wonder this heritage-lovin' (read: run down worthless building) anti-development city of senior citizens is getting nowhere.

    C'est la vie...

  • Gail
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    There are a couple of errors in the story as posted. The proposed parking lot for Pipers will be connected with the existing parking lot use by Lawtons and the former Dominion Store and NOT Canadian Tire. Plus residents concerns about snow clearing were focused on narrowing of New Cove Rd south of Elizabeth Ave after most snowfalls to two lanes.. ie the turning lane disappears, traffic backs up and with no cleared sidewalks, and pedestrians are at great risk. There are also winter time risks for those waiting at bus stops on either side of New Cove just south of the Elizabeth Ave.

    The lack of a left turn signal for traffic heading south before crossing Elizabeth Ave is already creating hazzards for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Residents reported numerous near missings as vehicles stuck in mid intersection at yellow lights and vehicles trying to beat yellow/read lights, turn east on Elizabeth while the walk light is still active. Residents were astonished to hear that left turn lights can only be installed when there have been sufficient accidents reported to warrant this expenditure - ie a reactive rather than proactive approach to safety of those using these streets and sidewalks! Residents also pointed out to Pipers reps that the lack of a left turn light would negatively affect their potential customers as round about methods would have to be used to access available parking such as entering behind Kentucky Fried Chicken on Torbay Road and cutting across the old Dominion store parking lot so as to avoid both the intersection and the need to cross two lanes of west bound traffice on Elizabeth to get into that entrance as no left turns would be possible from New Cove Rd entrance.

    The artists conception of the re purposed building looks more barn like than neighbourhood retail space ..esp when compared to the more attractive brick exterior presented by Pipers new store in Mount Pearl.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    No need to worry about traffic. Soon we will have restrictions on when and where we are permitted to drive anyway. Odd and even days just like China. Traffic problem solved.

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    BTW- the old Dominion store has been approved for a new Lawton's mega drugstore

  • John Smith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    How will the parking lot be connected to the Canadian tire parking lot, which is across a four lane highway? What are they going to do build an overpass? LOL

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Just thinking the same thing- no wonder residents are concerned

  • Corey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I was thinking the same thing as John Smith . I'm assuming the location they're talking about is the old Subaru building. How is the parking lot going to connect to Canadian Tire on the opposite side of the 4-laned Elizabeth ave? They putting an overpass there or something, lol

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Personally I would be more concerned about the building height...Pipers better not being adding height to that building or there may be risk of blocking view planes and creating an ugly monstrosity . Id much rather see a run down abandoned building myself...fits better in this city!

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Pipers traffic would just replace the old Dominion Supermarkets traffic located just eastof the proposed pipers, that bldg.has been sitting as an eyesore since the Memorial Dominion opened.Come on people,let's not have anoyher eyesore and let Pipers develop.

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    With that being said, I've never seen a traffic problem in that part of the city anyway. That's just another excuse the anti-development nuts have on the backburner.

    The majority of traffic uses the Prince Philip parkway in that area, and Elizabeth Avenue really quiets down east of Bonaventure/Allandale anyway. That would probably be the busiest intersection, maybe even the stop sign-controlled terminus with Freshwater Road. I've never seen a line-up of cars at New Cove or Portugal Cove, nothing extreme anyway.

    This is a city - there's going to be traffic. Don't like it? Move out to one of the many rural Newfoundland towns. You can see the harbour there too!

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I don't live in the area but when I do have to be down that way I dread it because of the traffic

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    People in this city are unreal. First it's the Fortis development, that hotel on Prescott Street, condos on Temperance Street, a freakin' discount store on Elizabeth Avenue, housing in Mount Pearl, no matter what the development there's someone in this city to complain about it and the media ready to stir up the controversy.

    These people seriously need to get a life. Traffic problems? There's already a Canadian Tire store on that intersection. I'm sure that attracts more traffic than Pipers ever will.

    God forbid anyone attempt to build anything in St. John's. No wonder this heritage-lovin' (read: run down worthless building) anti-development city of senior citizens is getting nowhere.

    C'est la vie...

  • Gail
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    There are a couple of errors in the story as posted. The proposed parking lot for Pipers will be connected with the existing parking lot use by Lawtons and the former Dominion Store and NOT Canadian Tire. Plus residents concerns about snow clearing were focused on narrowing of New Cove Rd south of Elizabeth Ave after most snowfalls to two lanes.. ie the turning lane disappears, traffic backs up and with no cleared sidewalks, and pedestrians are at great risk. There are also winter time risks for those waiting at bus stops on either side of New Cove just south of the Elizabeth Ave.

    The lack of a left turn signal for traffic heading south before crossing Elizabeth Ave is already creating hazzards for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Residents reported numerous near missings as vehicles stuck in mid intersection at yellow lights and vehicles trying to beat yellow/read lights, turn east on Elizabeth while the walk light is still active. Residents were astonished to hear that left turn lights can only be installed when there have been sufficient accidents reported to warrant this expenditure - ie a reactive rather than proactive approach to safety of those using these streets and sidewalks! Residents also pointed out to Pipers reps that the lack of a left turn light would negatively affect their potential customers as round about methods would have to be used to access available parking such as entering behind Kentucky Fried Chicken on Torbay Road and cutting across the old Dominion store parking lot so as to avoid both the intersection and the need to cross two lanes of west bound traffice on Elizabeth to get into that entrance as no left turns would be possible from New Cove Rd entrance.

    The artists conception of the re purposed building looks more barn like than neighbourhood retail space ..esp when compared to the more attractive brick exterior presented by Pipers new store in Mount Pearl.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    No need to worry about traffic. Soon we will have restrictions on when and where we are permitted to drive anyway. Odd and even days just like China. Traffic problem solved.

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    BTW- the old Dominion store has been approved for a new Lawton's mega drugstore

  • John Smith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    How will the parking lot be connected to the Canadian tire parking lot, which is across a four lane highway? What are they going to do build an overpass? LOL

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Just thinking the same thing- no wonder residents are concerned

  • Corey
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I was thinking the same thing as John Smith . I'm assuming the location they're talking about is the old Subaru building. How is the parking lot going to connect to Canadian Tire on the opposite side of the 4-laned Elizabeth ave? They putting an overpass there or something, lol