Park’n’Rides should have amenities put in when adjacent lands are developed
Residential neighbourhoods have sprouted up all around Aylmer. People need these homes. The community of Aylmer has benefited greatly from these new families. One of the problems, however, is that builders are following city requirements for these neighbourhoods to be strictly residential.
An immediate reversal is required, so that new areas have a convenience store nearby, at a minimum.
Incredibly, directly adjacent to Aylmer’s most westerly STO Park’n’Ride is a corner of land that has a big sign for upcoming multi-family units. Signs went up a while ago, announcing the coming project. It looks beautiful and the convenience of the location makes it perfect for more densified residential living. But there are absolutely zero commercial services within a quick walk, right where people will be bustling all day for the public transit. There needs to be a place to buy a bottle of water or bag of peanuts. Any city in the world understands the necessity to add small commercial units to residential car-free communities. Building it later is not going to happen, so the zoning requirements must step up right away.
The convenience of the location at the Lattion / des Allumetières Park’n’Ride, and the opportunity to add walkability factors, such as small businesses, illustrates a problem that is across the city. That location should have some commercial space, too. There is not a single café or convenience store within close walking distance to the Park’n’Ride. This land is about to be built up. There are very few properties adjacent to the Park’n’Ride so it is very easy to foresee the need for commercial space to be reserved prior to building up that empty corner.
The failure of the “Coeur du Village” city-required plan at the old Connaught Park Racetrack shows Aylmer that proven city planning for walkable, healthy communities still requires public pressure to enforce. The builders of the new project do exquisite work; the units will be very welcome on the Aylmer real estate market. That side of the project is not at issue.
If a mixed Residential/Commercial building can go up, as it should, on rue Principale, the same should apply to properties surrounding major STO infrastructure, like the one at the west end of Aylmer.