A long-simmering debate between the Town of Penetanguishene and the owner of the Village Square Mall will soon be settled.
At its committee-of-the-whole meeting Sept. 28, council voted to create a signallized intersection at Edward Street leading into the mall as the Main Street reconstruction project unfolds. The proposal will prevent left-turns at the midpoint access across from the Scotiabank on Jeffery Street, creating a dedicated "right-in, right-out" access.
“I’ve been caught (at the midpoint access) many times myself,” said Deputy Mayor Anita Dubeau. “This will help traffic flow a little better.”
Mall owner Rob Staffen has raised concerns with the proposal, arguing preventing left turns at the mid-block entrance would impact business at the mall as fewer customers would enter.
Mayor Gerry Marshall said it is just “speculation” to argue about the impact of changing the intersection.
“I think the right-in, right-out option creates the greatest flexibility,” he said. “If the speculation about impact on the mall becomes a reality, we can always change the entrance back to a left-turn scenario.”
Coun. Doug Rawson, however, advocated keeping the mid-block entrance status quo.
“If one more car turns into the mall and buys one thing for one dollar, that’s one more dollar for our community,” he said. “What’s the harm of another person spending one more dime in our town? Nothing.”
The cost of modifying the mid-block entrance will be shared between the town and the mall. The decision is expected to be ratified at the next meeting of council Oct. 12.
Shared Public Photo/News Source: Simcoe.com View Source