take a back seat

Councillor Sandra Humfryes who chairs town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee was in attendance of the October 25th walking tour of the town’s Cultural Precinct.

I didn’t notice anyone else from that committee or anyone with mobility issues and I was interesting in hearing their perspective as to how this area should develop.

While the group stopped to listen to what the consultant had to say about certain buildings I kept my eye out for areas where people could rest and found only 3 benches:

  • 2 located on the SE corner of Trinity Anglican Church. 1 on Metcalfe and the other on Victoria.
  • 1 located out front of the old Public library, also on Victoria.

If you include temporary picnic benches there are 2 flanking the “Cultural” Centre bringing the total opportunities to 5, but all within a very tight grouping.

Recently the Aurora Public Library enhanced their outdoor seating area, as seen featured in a recent facebook post.

If you’re looking for another place to rest you have to haul it to town park where there is a mix of picnic benches, bleachers and a handful of park benches.

This 2014 article from blue&green points to benches as a catalyst for urban renewal: http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/features/in-defence-of-the-bench-why-walkable-cities-are-important/

“Providing more than a walking path or area, benches are vital to urban renewal, city growth and community development because they encourage people to interact, linger, shop and increase their commitment to the area.
Utilising them as part of urban renewal increases the effect of the project through decreasing the broken windows effect, increasing the chance for interaction and for a community to gather around.”

It is that chance that Aurora desperately needs to take.

Moreso if the expectation is that this area will be largely enjoyed on foot, or bike with little to no appetite for accommodating additional parking. In fact from the discussions I heard there is even a willingness to reduce existing parking, but that is a subject for a separate post.

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