The library is just a just a few blocks away from Brad Major’s Second Avenue home.
But for lack of sidewalks on Second Avenue, south of Vancouver Street, even that short walk is an anxiety-ridden experience for Major and his daughter.
“For us to walk two blocks to the library, we are forced to walk in traffic in several spots and cross a truck route with no cross walk. At peak times I will need to let a string of cars pass on the street just to start walking,” says Brad.
Brad is urging the Mayor and council to be proactive by building sidewalks and crosswalks and enforce a 30 kilometre speed zone.
Major says there are remnants of old sidewalks, and it is still visible in sections but the sections don’t connect, which forces pedestrians to walk onto the road. On the south corner of Vancouver Street and Second Avenue, the sidewalks end in the ditch, he says.
A few minutes’ walk from home can feel like an exercise in dodging car traffic.
“We are walking in traffic daily, and it is stressful. All I’m hoping for is a safe sidewalk so our kids can walk downtown,” he says.
Major says along with proper crosswalks, the council also needs to invest in crosswalks, especially on a truck route like Vancouver Street.
He also wants council to enforce basic zoning bylaws so that high traffic retails businesses are not able to operate in areas where there are no sidewalks.
Mayor Karen Elliott said many areas of the community require sidewalks and it’s a matter of prioritizing the list because of high costs.
A block of sidewalks on one side of the street and is estimated at $200,000, in part due to the need for storm sewers to be built in conjunction where open ditches exists.
She said the 2016 Active Transportation Plan does identify sidewalks for construction in much of the Downtown area.
At the time the plan was created, the Downtown South area was largely zoned industrial, and therefore was not highlighted for sidewalks, but that will be revisited with change in land use.
“Staff plans to initiate a review of sidewalks in the Downtown South area in the coming months,” she said.