Adelina Pecchia- At Large Candidate
1.Businesses are frequently the targets of crime and on the front line dealing with societal problems in the area; what steps do you think should be taken to ensure businesses are protected and our community is safer to explore, shop, work and play in.
Lighting and roads play a huge part in how businesses are protected. For example, is the downtown center lit up at night to the point where people can feel safe walking? How accessible is the downtown area? Are streets cut off? If so, how can we open them up?
How about access to parks? Are underpasses safe and secure for example and well lit? Not at the moment. I was part of the founding team of the Neighbourhood Watch Program in Thunder Bay. We could start one for businesses in the Downtown Core and call it Business Neighbourhood Watch.
We would need Business Neighbourhood Watch Signs, updating security cameras, and ensuring that those who do vandalize properties are part of the restitution to the business.
I would also advocate for community policing. Police Officers on bikes, walking etc. This would allow the opportunity for Police and Community to interact together and establish relationships.
Also, I think it is important to have signs available to tourists coming from out of town guiding them to where they can stay in Fort William (Kingsway Avenue for example that have hotels) and Intercity.
There are no hotels in the Fort William Business Community.
2. What is your impression of the Fort William Business community? What is one thing that is done well and what is one thing that needs to improve?
I applaud all who work so hard to be part of a vital community. However, I do not frequent the Fort William Business Community very often because there is not enough variety for me to take an hour or more or the day to shop. Parking is also very limited. It would be great to advertise free parking on Saturdays for example.
Also, I do not like driving to the Fort William Core because there is no flow of traffic. Victoriaville cuts off the artery to the downtown area. Victoriaville needs to be modified.
One thing that is done well is the attempt at beautification with flowers and Christmas lights. Other than that we really need to focus on how to bring back the flow of people and traffic to the downtown area and for me that means modifying Victoriaville so we can get traffic moving again (please see what London, Ontario did when their traffic flow was cut off on Dundas Street in the 80’s with the same situation).
It is going to take one step at a time but Victoriaville no longer works for the majority of those who live in the city. So we need to re-imagine and refocus and restructure.
3. With the revitalization of downtown Fort William project underway there is no planned community center for the area after the project is completed. Victoriaville provided an important and safe gathering place. What vision do you have to recreate a similar environment for community connectivity?
The area of Victoriaville was at one time the center for the area and it can be again, with expanded boundaries.
There is a saying “All Roads Lead to Rome.” If you look at how villages and town centers were established in Rome and other centers in Europe there are flow areas with open roads that leads back, usually to a cathedral or civic center. We can chart it out…
Envision an open road from Centennial Square which leads to the Fort William Core, and another open road to St. Pat’s Cathedral, to the exiting Brodie Library, to further down the road to the shops on Victoria Avenue, a physical flow chart is important.
I grew up and worked in the Fort William Center. Everything has changed. The vitality is gone but we can get it back even stronger with new visions…line up line, precept upon precept..we can keep some of that which is and restore even and add new. I have added to the saying, “Thunder Bay, Superior by Nature.”
My saying is, “Thunder Bay, Excellent by Design.” Because it can be!
Adelina Pecchia- At Large Candidate