There was a letter to the editor in last weeks Tribune alleging that City Council was wasting taxpayers money by ripping up Stone Road and putting another layer of asphalt down.. I’ve heard this allegation a few times as of late and so I thought I’d post here what my response was, and to tackle a couple of other issues that have been brought up too:
Stone Road Asphalt:
This top asphalt layer being put down on Stone Road is not being re-done, it is the final coat after all the construction was done over the last year. It is best practice for the main road construction work to be completed, allowed to “sit” for approximately 1 year for things to settle and then have the final layer installed. This is not a waste of taxpayers’ dollars, it’s the final part of the overall construction project that was fully budgeted for.
Sidewalks on Stone Road:
In regards to the sidewalks, it is better for the taxpayers when full road redevelopment is taking place to install other active transportation options such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes or other multi-use pathways because the road work is being done at the same time. Use of these sidewalks will only grow over time because the next phase of subdivisions and development work will be occurring at the corner of Stone and Victoria when the Provincial Lands get developed. I’m sure you’d agree that it WOULD be a waste of taxpayers’ money to NOT install sidewalks when we have the opportunity to do so, to only have to rip up the roads and boulevards when the future growth requires these infrastructure upgrades.
Separated Bike & Pedestrian Lanes on Woodlawn:
The new separated bike and pedestrian pathways on Woodlawn Rd were identified as risk mitigation to people both walking and biking down this section of Woodlawn Road a few years ago. This was publicly stated by our head city engineer at the time. It makes sense to have a separated bike and pedestrian pathway done at the same time then to put bicycle lanes on Woodlawn Rd (with a potential risk of losing a lane of traffic) and a pedestrian sidewalk on the boulevard. The increase in use of people walking and cycling on that separated path has jumped significantly since it’s opening. It keeps people safe as it is separated and off the road while at the same time allows traffic flow to be maintained.