Andrew Dowie Ward 1 Tecumseh

The End of the Path

Mainline_SideWalk2.JPGI've been asked a few times as I've been doorknocking as to what my position is on sidewalks.  My answer is this:  I believe in a complete collector/arterial sidewalk network so that there isn't a mix of turning vehicles, parked cars and pedestrians trying to access a given destination.  The last thing I want to see happen is someone get hit at a busy intersection because walkers are put on the road.

In my professional career, I work to implement active and sustainable transportation measures.  I wouldn't leave a road for cars unfinished for the last block to a destination so I would not do so for a sidewalk either.

Sidewalks are a love 'em/hate 'em dichotomy.  They're among the last features of a subdivision to be installed, even after you may have planted landscaping in their corridor.  Many streets that don't have sidewalks have always been that way and residents like it that way.  Many fear loss of yard, driveway space, privacy, or having to clear them in the winter.

However, when there are no sidewalks but there's a destination to be reached, often a path of some sort creeps up anyway.  A nice, worn dirt path is created on front lawns.  I recall one street that had several 90 degree bends with poor sightlines in another municipality, where the local councillor asked what the holdup was for installing sidewalks because there was a clear and demonstrated need.  It turned out that the Council of the day vetoed its installation.

Sidewalks are now mandated for new subdivisions.  The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit championed the cause in the mid-90s and the end result is that such decisions have been made so no new gaps will be created.  I have no intention of reversing this policy or revisiting it.  In fact, you can expect that I will be a champion for filling in gaps in our pedestrian network so that your walk to the park doesn't have to be a game of dodgeball on the way.

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment

Pulse

Brett Chaborek just joined.

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.