Residents reject sidewalks

Sideswiped by unwanted sidewalks, residents on Palmer and Kennedy streets are the latest Kitchener group preparing to take their issue to council.
Last month, faced with protests from Glasgow Street homeowners who opposed a new sidewalk proposed outside their homes, councillors voted to abandon the $100,000 pathway despite a city pedestrian charter that states sidewalks should be included whenever possible in proposed road upgrades. Now, in the Palmer-Kennedy case, I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar council decision is made.
In both cases, residents who have never had sidewalks on one side of their streets argued that the unwanted proposals waste taxpayer dollars and threaten the future health of mature trees and existing landscaping in older neighbourhoods They say pedestrians going through their communities can already use existing sidewalks on one side of their streets.
Palmer and Kennedy are scheduled for reconstruction between July and October of this year when work will go ahead to replace sewers, watermains and roadways. The project also involves adding sidewalks and boulevards.
Residents insist that they have successfully lived with sidewalks on one side of Palmer and Kennedy for the past 70 years and, in their opinion, the proposed  $36,500 cost of adding sidewalks is a waste of money that would encroach on their property frontages and put mature trees at risk.They also fear that by adding sidewalks and boulevards, they will lose driveway and parking spaces at their homes.
While I support the overall intent to create pedestrian walkways and improve accessibility whenever possible, I don’t see the need in this case and will support residents by opposing the sidewalk and boulevard proposals.

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