I would like to take this opportunity to address the situation of access to the north end of Fort Frances.
As a north-end homeowner who works in the south end of town, I often have been frustrated at the lack of supervised crossings to and from the north end.
Should there ever be flooding or any kind of minor work being done to the underpass (which happens from time to time), we must drive all the way to the west end of town and go around (about 10 km) when we really only had to go two or three blocks (.5-2 km).
I have heard people discussing overpass/underground walkways at the Armit Avenue and west-end locations. But I don’t believe overpass walkways—unless fully enclosed—would be safe for children to use, and would be difficult for elderly persons or people with disabilities to negotiate.
Underpass walkways could prove problematic, as well, as there is always the possibility of it flooding in the spring, as has happened on numerous occasions with our current underpass.
There has been an underpass walkway in the east end of Thunder Bay for many years. But some people aren’t comfortable using this as the walls are covered in graffiti, and some people use it for consuming alcohol and for shelter/sleeping at night.
As another alternative, why can’t controlled crossings be implemented at the old Victoria Avenue crossing and/or where the tracks meet Sixth Street near Faith Housing and Rainycrest Home for the Aged?
This type of crossing would allow for pedestrian, scooter, bicycle, and automotive use, and be accessible to/for everyone.
It would seem much more reasonable and practical to be able to safely cross the tracks at Victoria Avenue or Sixth Street should you be travelling east or south, as opposed to having to head west to get to your destination.
As well, Victoria Avenue would be a straight shot to the hospital, fire department, clinic, or any emergency response situation. It makes sense to me!
I understand that, at times, standing trains may block these crossings, but being able to use them 85-90 percent of the time is better than not having them available to us at all.
Perhaps some sort of arrangement could be reached with CN as to keeping at least one of these crossings open at all times.
Note: I believe the Township of Emo has somewhere around eight crossings over the tracks for the homeowners/businesses, etc. there, yet we have only two!
Thank you for listening.