Residents of Kingston west-end neighbourhood say lack of sidewalk is a safety issue
Many residents of a Kingston west-end neighbourhood say it’s a safety issue: no sidewalks on Westbrook Road, a busy roadway through their neighbourhood.
“We’re like the lost subdivision in the west end of the city,” says Steve Fraser, a member of the Westbrook Community Association.
Fraser is one of hundreds of residents in Westbrook who say their taxes are not being used for the most basic of needs — a sidewalk on the main access road through their community.
“This shoulder is washed out,” Fraser says, pointing to the side of Westbrook Road. “The pavement is broken and the water goes off into the ditch.”
The community is concerned for the safety of children and adults who must use the narrow shoulders to walk to the nearby school, wait for school buses or access the local United Church.
Earlier this week, the association presented a petition signed by 384 residents through city councillor Simon Chapelle, at Wednesday’s council meeting.
“It is a dangerous roadway,” says Chapelle.
Elected in October, Chapelle made this long-standing concern a campaign issue.
Some residents told Global News the previous councillor, Kevin George, did not take their concerns as seriously.
“(Westbrook), in many ways, has been neglected since amalgamation 19 years ago,” Chapelle says.
“If anything, we have an increase in (the) number of homes (that) have been built there, an increase in traffic,” Chapelle says. “It certainly warrants attention, and it’s just a matter of trying to expedite it within the active transportation plan.”
According to Fraser, the official plan for Westbrook Road, close to Princess Street, shows a sidewalk. Homes there were first built in the 1960s.
A timeline for a possible sidewalk and roadwork is still some time down the road.
“It really depends on engineering working with public works, and then leveraging the timeline if they are going to do roadwork in the area and other aspects,” says Chapelle. “So hopefully they can do designing as soon as possible. So maybe they can have this roadwork finished and the sidewalk installed, hopefully in the next year or two would be my preference.”
“We just want to make sure it’s done,” says Fraser.
The residents of Westbrook hope the petition will get them a sidewalk when the design of the roadway upgrade is done, and they hope it comes a lot quicker than two years.
But in the meantime, the community must navigate narrow gravel shoulders on a very busy roadway.
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