Clear-cutting in Aylmer: a bit of good news
Unquestionably, the most distressing scene for most Aylmerites is the clear-cut pockets of land in several locations. Vanier Road near des Allumettières, Allumettières and Samuel-Eddy, Lucerne, Wilfrid-Lavigne and des Allumettières and others are being built up. To build, land has been cleared.
The big shocker in Aylmer has been the clearing along Vanier between the high school and des Allumettières. That area was a hot-spot during the bear cup sightings of last year. It was slated for construction for years, but neither the bears nor the locals to Aylmer were quite aware that a clear-cut was coming for the build.
No one disputes the urgent need for Unigym’s gymnastics palestra. This is a city-wide need and Aylmer is lucky to be host to this very busy club. With new traffic accesses and the STO services coming right on the northwestern corner of Vanier and des Allumettières, residents can rest assured that the current traffic jam problem at that intersection should diminish. And yet, the loss of trees is still a shock. Especially considering the effort to plant trees as much as possible. In Old Aylmer, a big tree-planting program is in the works. Trees are the number one solution to cleaning the air.
There is good news at Vanier. The street is a two-way, single lanes rough drive. Zoning along the east side of Vanier is now multi-unit residential. While there is commercial at the moment, those businesses are permitted only in their current ownership. The sites of these businesses include several stands of mature trees.
Looking closely at the couple of metres along Vanier Road, something is clear. There is an easement that, going north from des Allumettières, should provide the possibility of changing the course of how cookie-cutter that easement ends up looking. There are possibilities, even as plans get laid down.
The trick is in being involved. Aylmer, ask your councillors, write your letters to the editor, to the various levels of government and make yourselves heard at council. If an alternative picture makes sense to everyone for what happens with the easement, the time is now. Ideas include protecting mature trees, insisting on both bike paths and multi-use paths (yes, two sets of paths), protecting the commercial space along Vanier so that small businesses can serve the massive residential neighbourhoods – not just big commercial ones.
What other ideas do readers have? Send them in and sign names to them. Clearly the newsroom has heard only massive dismay to the new round of clear-cutting and chains coming in. But the opposition must also turn to solutions, and voices must go on record before plans are approved by the city. If Boucher Forest is to be a successful island of green, there must be room for small businesses around it, especially along Vanier Road between the residential community and the road.