Just looking at the new sidewalk on Coverdale Street in Chatham leaves a person concerned about pedestrian safety in winter conditions.
But municipal officials say the sidewalk – which is visibly very uneven – looks worse than it really is, and that walking on it is no big deal.
Chatham Coun. Amy Finn said she’s fielded complaints from area residents.
“When looking at it, it does appear like a roller coaster. I have walked on it and it is not as bad as it appears,” she said.
She added municipal staff said the disparity in height between the low driveways and the high lawns led to the wave-like sidewalk, which was poured in mid-October.
“The yards and the slopes of the driveways made this project very unique and difficult. The (construction) companies and the municipality have standards that they have to adhere to in regard to the slope of driveways and sidewalk,” Finn said. “The effect is because on some properties they had to bring the sidewalk down across the driveway to meet the standard and then up across the property part to meet existing grades.”
Had this not been done, Finn said that would have instead meant some front yards would have been ripped up and lowered.
“I’m sure that solution would have created a whole different set of problems,” she said.
As for if the new sidewalk will be kind or cruel to pedestrians this winter, Finn said she’s unsure.
“I don’t know what if any problems will arise due to snow and ice, but we will have to address them if any do arise,” she said.
Chris Thibert, director of engineering and transportation, said in previously published reports that municipal officials are aware the sidewalk has garnered attention on social media.
He said the sidewalk meets the Ontario Provincial Standards as well as the Ontario Accessibility Standards for sidewalks.