06 January 2009

St. John’s declares war on Tim Horton’s

St. John’s city council doesn’t have much better to do – evidently – than to impose a ban on drive through eating establishments, particularly the Tim Horton’s franchises.

Interestingly enough, one Timmies on the west end of Water Street that is almost complete renovations to improve parking and deal with the traffic problems caused by its drive-through, will likely be denied an occupancy permit.

You can tell this latest move is another of the ill-considered policies that come from Tammany on Gower since no consideration seems to have been given to the implications of the supposed cause of the ban.  If a commercial establishment can have such business success that it causes some inconvenience  - the mayor throws out the spectre of “tragedy” - and therefore attract action specifically by Council, then every other enterprise that causes traffic snarls can expect the same treatment.

The mayor’s rhetoric is extreme.  These drive-throughs have been around for quite some time causing on occasion far worse problems than have been seen lately. If the fear of some unspecified “tragedy” is behind Doc O’Keefe’s sudden discovery of the Timmies crisis, one can only wonder what might happen if he walked along Brookfield Road instead of turning up Cowan Avenue during his daily constitutional. 

Lester’s Farm might be toast, especially on some Saturday’s.  Heck, the road itself can be treacherous at times.  Doc might even notice the absence of sidewalks in an area that has been residential for over three decades and yet…for some unknown reason…the city has not seen fit to provide an ounce of sidewalk for pedestrians. 

Doc might even wander into the neighbourhoods and find, for example, that city council crews often force residents to shovel six feet out into the street during the winter to find the one narrow lane left by council ploughs.  We are not talking major snowstorms here and usually the crews do a decent job;  it’s just that your humble e-scribbler found such a state  - six feet from curb to road - in front of his own humble dwelling only this past weekend when the total snowfall was something on the order of 10 centimetres.

But wait.

That would be city council’s responsibility to keep the roads in good condition or install sidewalks and maintain them properly and keep them cleared of snow. Perhaps they’d even have to explain last fall’s auditor problems. Or figure out how to fund curb side recycling.

And if city council had to focus on the basics, then – by Keith Coombs’ beard – they wouldn’t get to pour money down the Mile One sinkhole or gallivant all over the globe at the taxpayers’ expense  around trying to lure cruise ships to the city.

Not much has changed in St. John’s.

Incidentally, it’s an election year in the capital. If this Timmies attack is happening at the start of the year one can only imagine what sort of nonsense councillors will find to raise their ire come voting time.

Rest assured, though, as councillor Art Puddister told radio listeners this morning, it will occur – like the Tims attack - “on a go forward basis.”