I came back from my regular walk on the harbour front again today with tears in my eyes — angry and upset. Because of the despicable fencing recently installed, I can no longer enjoy my walk nor my view of the Narrows, Signal Hill, The Battery, the marina and Southside Hills, etc.
That horrible wire barrier makes me feel like a prisoner trying to get a view of the outside world or a chicken in a coop! And I’m sure the majority of our citizens would say the same thing.
In addition, the sidewalk is in terrible shape and the benches have all been removed so there is no place to rest after a hike downtown. Any other city in Canada with such a beautiful waterfront would take full advantage of what we have and not deliberately block it off from its citizens and tourists.
What were you thinking about, Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and councillors? Or does the blame fall on the provincial or federal government?
I heard that it might be because of safety concerns. That is absolute nonsense. For hundreds of years people have been freely walking up and down the waterfront without too many incidents. Even when the German U-boats were invading our waters during the Second World War we didn’t have a monstrous wire fence on the harbour front.
Is our mayor and city council trying to justify that eyesore of a fence for the safety of the few cruiseships that visit our harbour in the summertime? Have they seriously considered how that fence is destroying the pleasure and freedom of all of us who live here all year long?
Instead of sealing off access to the harbour, they should be opening it up, and beautifying it like in other cities, so that it will be more attractive to people, so that it will be one of the highlights of a visit downtown.
In 1987, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in speaking about the Berlin Wall, challenged the Soviet Union leader by emphatically stating, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
On behalf of the citizens of St. John’s, and all visitors to our beautiful city, I challenge Mayor O’Keefe and his city councillors (or the provincial or federal government officials involved) to “tear down this abominable wire fence around our harbour.”
And do it now!