Sir: Victoria rehabilitation project, I don’t claim to be any sort of engineer, but I do live in this city and have frequently travelled along a beautiful stretch of our city called Victoria Avenue. I realize that utility services such as water, hydro and sewage have to be rehabilitated along Victoria Avenue as with all things, they grow old and have to be fixed or replaced. I think the residents of Victoria Avenue or myself want to see this necessary work done.
It is an inconvenience, no doubt, but something that has to be done as is required, to keep all the homes and businesses along there serviced safely and possibly improve road and sidewalk travel for vehicles, bikes and pedestrians alike.
It has been well noted about how beautiful the Victoria Avenue area is and shown in both photographs and drawings.
A certain number of trees are being taken out on Victoria Avenue, because of rot or danger of falling. Limit the tree removal to just those trees. No need to take out healthy trees, even if they have stood there for generations.
As for putting in bicycle paths, rather than taking out entire boulevards and some trees to accommodate bike paths, why did the municipality do what it did along Grand Avenue West, between Kiel Drive and the St. Clair College area? Repave the sidewalks, paint lines along the center of them, to indicate which side of the street bicycles and pedestrians alike should be travelling on, with necessary arrows and signs indicating what these lines indicate and that the walkways are to be used and shared by pedestrians and bicycles alike? Some people don’t like the asphalt on the walks on Grand Avenue West, so why not utilize cement walks as before on Victoria?
Now the only problem is of course, that bicycles coming up from behind pedestrians might run into them.
That is why you have signs put up to indicate that bicycles are to share the sidewalks equally and safely with pedestrians. If a cyclist hits a pedestrian, then the bicyclists should be tracked down, given a fine and if it is found to be necessary, possibly have to pay for medical expenses that might be required by the pedestrians that was hit and injured.
I know there is no perfect solution for these sort of situations, but if we as a community do not speak up and express our views, there is no point in commenting once these rehabilitation projects are started.
I understand that the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is accepting letters regarding this rehabilitation work. Residents there should write and speak up about your concerns and maybe your views will be taken into account and changes you request will be followed up on.