Bells Corners street name change angers some
Richmond Road section now called Robertson Road to avoid confusing visitors
Ottawa city council Wednesday reversed a controversial decision to rename the main road in Bells Corners in honour of the late Lloyd Francis, a former speaker of the House of Commons who was active in the early development of the area.
But the city's compromise decision to rename the whole strip Robertson Road made some residents and business owners angry, especially those living or running businesses in the section of the street that was known as Richmond Road until Wednesday.
"I think in stinks. I think it's going to cost a whole lot of people a whole lot of money to change their addresses," said resident Denise Lozinski as she stormed out of the council meeting.
The Bells Corners Business Improvement Area (BIA) said most of its members are in favour of naming the whole strip Robertson Road, because it removes the confusion of having one stretch Robertson Road, and the next stretch of the same street called Richmond Road.
"The survey that we just initiated a week ago would indicate that 70 per cent of businesses are in favour of this consideration," said Alex Lewis, executive director of the BIA.
However, a competing survey came up with the opposite conclusion.
Karen Parkinson, who owns a printing business just off the main road, said most of the people she spoke to wanted the street names left alone, with better signage to direct customers.
"The council has, well [Coun.] Rick Chiarelli has really failed the community in a spectacular way. The BIA has failed its businesses," Parkinson said.
Meanwhile, Chiarelli said it's time to move on and help Bells Corners businesses recover from the "downward spiral" they're experiencing now.