The Town of Bridgewater is initiating a planning process to develop an Open Space Network Plan (OSNP), and we want you to help us!
Town Council has recently created an Open Space Plan Advisory Committee (OSPAC) to work with Town staff to develop an Open Space Network Plan for the Town. We are looking for three residents of Bridgewater and four representatives of stakeholder organizations who are passionate about their community, healthy living and open space to sit on our Committee!
OSPAC meetings will take place monthly, on Friday afternoons between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM, and will be open to the public.
What is “open space”?
“Open space” is not just parks! Our working definition of open space is “any public or private space not built upon and open to the sky.” Using this definition as a starting point will allow the planning process to include sidewalks, trails, streets, surface parking lots, plazas, parks, outdoor recreation facilities, brooks and the LaHave River as open spaces.
The Role of Open Space in the Community
In addition to recreational and active transportation uses, public open space is critical for providing opportunities for users to socialize, both actively and passively. Open spaces that encourage sociability are most successful at drawing a wide range of users. As it turns out, the most attractive thing about an open space is other people, even if the main purpose of the space is recreation or physical activity.
Insufficient access to social activity can easily lead to loneliness and isolation, conditions not normally considered illness but that can have health consequences similar to those associated with high blood pressure, smoking and lack of exercise. Sociable open spaces that are attractive to a wide variety of users are safer, and help build so-called “social capital” by making the community more resistant to crime and other social problems, by helping residents develop an attachment to their community, and by building community pride. Residents of towns with attractive, welcoming public spaces are happier.
The Case for an Open Space Network Plan
The Town does not have a plan for how to allocate resources to the existing and future assets, even though there are at least three significant new open space projects (the new riverfront open space on King Street, Generations Active Park and Grinders Square) in development.
We also have not heard from our community. What do our residents value most about our open spaces? What are our frustrations? Are there parts of our community that are underserved for open space? Do all of our neighbourhoods have equitable access to the open spaces that they need?
Open space can mean many different things to different people – a place to play organized sports or a pick-up game of soccer, a place to enjoy an exciting play structure or a place to sit and watch the water. Some people use open spaces for exercise, but many more use them to socialize, a critical function for a healthy community. How can we support these different uses? How do we make sure no one feels squeezed out? As a community, we need to have these conversations. We need to understand our collective vision and how we get there from where we are.
The South Shore Housing Action Coalition (SSHAC) is doing a Housing Survey. Do you rent or own your home? Do you build, rent or sell housing? Do you support people who face housing challenges? The SSHAC wants to hear from you! Visit www.sshac.ca to complete the survey, or phone 902-543-2492 for a paper copy.
February 29, 2016: For immediate release
TOWN OF BRIDGEWATER
PROJECT UPDATE – TAKE BACK THE RIVERBANK
This is the first formal update on the Take Back The Riverbank project for the 2016 year. The primary purpose of this release is to communicate the current timeline of events, which is detailed below.
Take Back The Riverbank kicked off with the tear-down of the South Parkade in November of 2015. Within about a month, the parkade was removed from the site of the future waterfront public space.
The next phase of Take Back The Riverbank will begin in the spring, continuing through the summer and into the fall months of 2016.
During this time, the following components will be completed:
- Upgrading of the sanitary, storm, and water lines beneath King Street. Sanitary and storm lines will be separated as part of this process, improving the efficiency of the Town's wastewater-treatment system.
- Construction of the new waterfront public space.
- After the underground work is complete, on-street improvements will be completed, including curb bump-outs and reverse-angle parking.
The tender call for the project was issued on February 19, with a close-date set for March 17. We hope to award the contract for the work by the end of March.
The start date for the project contract is scheduled to be early April – HOWEVER, that does not mean that construction on King Street will be starting right away in April. Work will first begin on the development of the full construction plan, including detailed project timelines, to guide us through 2016.
After the contract is awarded, and as proposed timelines are developed, the Town of Bridgewater will provide that information as soon as possible to merchants, customers, and the general public.
- The contract for construction of the next phase of Take Back The Riverbank will be awarded by the end of March.
- A detailed timeline for construction will be released in April.
- King Street businesses in the construction area (between Old Bridge and Dufferin Street) will remain accessible on foot during much of the project. However, there will be times when, due to construction and related safety issues, access will not be possible. These disruptions will be short term in duration and businesses will be notified in advance.
- Signage will be erected indicating all businesses within the construction area are open during the project.
- At the end of the project, King Street will still be open to two-way traffic.
- On-street parking will still be available on King Street north of Old Bridge during construction, as well as at the North Parkade, Town Centre Lot, and O’Neill Lot – for more information on parking availability in Downtown Bridgewater, you can click here.
Patrick Hirtle, MA
60 Pleasant Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 3X9
A message from Bridgewater Police Service
The Bridgewater Police Service will be doing directed enforcement on crosswalks during the months of March and April 2016, with the emphasis on educating motorists and pedestrians on their responsibility when approaching and using a crosswalk.
An interesting point to note is that a driver can also be a pedestrian at some point in time and a pedestrian can also be a driver at some point in time; yet both will complain about one another at a crosswalk not yielding the right-of-way.
In section125 (6) of the Motor Vehicle Act, the Act indicates a driver and a pedestrian both need to exercise due care at a crosswalk.
When using a crosswalk, there are a few things pedestrians need to do:
1. Make eye contact with the driver before stepping into the crosswalk
2. Use the crosswalk beacon when one is available
3. Stop at the curb and face the crosswalk allowing the driver time to recognize that you are getting ready to use the crosswalk if no beacon is available.
4. Extend your arm out in front of you so the driver can see that you are intending to cross
5. Never run out into a crosswalk.
The main focus at a crosswalk is safety, and both drivers and pedestrians need to work together to accomplish this.
Below are the sections in the motor vehicle act that hold pedestrians accountable for their action at a crosswalk:
Section 125Pedestrian and vehicle rights of way
125 (1) Where pedestrian movements are not controlled by traffic signals,
(a) the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a Pedestrian lawfully within a crosswalk or stopped facing a crosswalk; Carries a fine is $697.50 for the first offence and four (4) points on your driver’s license
(b) where the traffic on a highway is divided into separate roadways by a median, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian lawfully within a crosswalk or stopped facing the crosswalk on the roadway on which the vehicle is travelling.
Carries a fine is $697.50 for the first offence and four (4) points on your driver’s license
(2) Where a vehicle has stopped at a crosswalk to yield to a Pedestrian pursuant to subsection (1), it is an offence for the driver of any other Vehicle approaching from the rear to overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
Carries a fine is 406.45 for the first offence and four (4) points on your driver’s license
(3) A pedestrian shall not leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so closely approaching that it is impractical for the driver of the vehicle to stop.
Carries a fine is 406.45 for the first offence and NO points on your driver’s license
(4) Where a pedestrian is crossing a roadway at a crosswalk that has a pedestrian-activated beacon, the pedestrian shall not leave a curb or other place of safety unless the pedestrian-activated beacon has been activated.
Carries a fine is 406.45 for the first offence and NO points on your driver’s license
(5) A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk shall yield the right of way to vehicles upon the roadway.
Carries fine is 406.45 for the first offence and NO points on your driver’s license
(6) This Section does not relieve a pedestrian or a driver of a Vehicle from the duty to exercise due care. 2007, c. 45, s. 9.
SCHOOL REVIEW PROCESS UPDATE
Courtesy the BHS Monthly Newsletter
The first of three public meetings examining the Park View and Bridgewater families of schools will be held on February 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Bridgewater Junior Senior High School. The purpose of this meeting will be to present objectives and draft scenarios to the general public.
A School Options Committee with membership from School Advisory Councils and community members will present their ideas and receive public feedback.
The scenarios may include changing grade configurations at some schools and potential catchment area changes for other schools.
Recommendations for review documents and school review information can be found on the South Shore Regional School Board website.
The governing board will make final decisions on the School Options Committee recommendations on the Park View and Bridgewater schools at a board meeting in the spring of 2016.
The Town of Bridgewater has started preparing its budget for the 2016/17 year. The Town invites input from the public on its expenditures for public services. Budget approval is tentatively scheduled for May 9, 2016.
Please provide your comments and suggestions to:
Dawn Keizer, MBA, CA
Director of Finance
Or provide feedback to us through the Town of Bridgewater Facebook page.
Waste collection is cancelled for today, January 13, 2016, because of the overnight snowfall and has been rescheduled in both towns and the municipality for this coming Saturday.
The community recycling centre will be closed until 12 noon today. The site may reopen at noon, depending upon the road conditions. Please listen to CKBW for updated information as the morning progresses.
CBC's Feed Nova Scotia Day is reaching out across the province in a bigger way this year:
"On Friday, December 11th, we will be at the Bridgewater Sobeys with volunteers collecting donations for the annual Feed Nova Scotia fundraiser. We're hoping you can join us!"
A welcoming invitation from the Town of Bridgewater to food trucks near and far!
To learn more about the Town's Vending By-Law, click here.
The Town of Bridgewater is seeking a representative from a stakeholder group in Bridgewater to participate on the Town's Downtown Plan Advisory Committee (DPAC). The purpose of this committee is to advise Town Council on the development and management of an implementation strategy for Bridgewater's Downtown & Waterfront Master Plan Final Report, which can be viewed by clicking here.
The Town is seeking one representative from a stakeholder group of Bridgewater to serve on the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee for the next three years.