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Thursday, April 18, 2024
St. Davids desperately seeking sidewalks
Coun. Adriana Vizzari says pedestrian safety is not a new issue in St. Davids. EVAN LOREE

St. Davids is not a safe place for pedestrians, some residents say.

Two representatives of the St. Davids Ratepayers Association, a membership club representing the interests of the village’s residents, urged council to support their effort to get sidewalks and crosswalks built on dangerous roads in their community.

“We want to improve the walkability and accessibility of the village,” said resident Mike Pearsall at council’s committee of the whole planning meeting in March 5.

In the end, the issue was too complicated to resolve then and there, so council asked staff to assess the needs of pedestrians in St. Davids and report back with recommendations for safer sidewalks and crosswalks in the community.

Pearsall, and neighbour John Gartner, want to build sidewalks on York Road, from Four Mile Creek Road to Lions Park on York Road, and on Four Mile Creek, from Millpond to the post office.

It’s not possible to get from the village centre to the park and pool safely by walking, Pearsall said.

“It doesn’t really make any sense that you can’t walk in front of our park and our pool,” said Coun. Adriana Vizzari, who also lives in St. Davids.

Pearsall estimates it would cost about $300,000 to build the sidewalks.

“It’s not something we expect to be done this year,” he said.

Pearsall also wants a new crosswalk on Four Mile Creek, near David Secord Drive.

It would cost the town about $10,000 to add button-activated, flashing signs with audible warnings on either side of the crosswalk, plus the cost of paint, if it wanted to install a similar crosswalk to the one crossing Niagara Stone Road near Anderson Lane, Pearsall said. 

“My only concern is that we’re going to build sidewalks on a regional road,” said Coun. Gary Burroughs.

The region owns both York and Four Mile Creek roads, meaning it’s responsible for any construction on them.

The town would have to go to the region if it wanted to start construction at either location proposed by Pearsall.

Regardless of questions of how the infrastructure gets built, there was a consensus on the need for it.

Before she joined council, Vizzari said she approached the region for a sidewalk on York Road to help keep her kids safe from traffic as they walk to school. 

“The solution from the region was they started busing my kids. They bus one kilometre to St. Davids school because that road is uncrossable,” she said.

Gartner said he is reluctant to cross Four Mile Creek Road since losing his eyesight in the last three years.

“Since this happened to me, I basically have not crossed it without assistance from others,” he said.

Improvements to pedestrian walkways in St. Davids, especially at the intersection of Four Mile Creek and York roads, are part of a five-year roadwork plan valued by the region at $84 million.

Coun. Maria Mavridis didn’t want to wait for the designs of a roundabout planned for that intersection before taking action, though.

She said she wants to get something done during this term of council.

Vizzari agreed.

“It’s funny to hear ‘maybe two years out,’ on a sidewalk in front of a rec facility that’s been around since the ’70s,” she said, asking if there is a way to expedite the work.

Coun. Erwin Wiens cautioned against the move to rush a report back to council.

He said residents on East and West Line had been waiting for a staff report about clean drinking water for over a year now.

“We always have to remember when we’re expediting reports what we have to leave behind.” 

evanloree@niagaranow.com

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