Small sidewalk at Queen and Charles not permanent: GrandLinq
Published Tuesday, September 20, 2016 6:22PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 20, 2016 6:37PM EDT
A scaled-down sidewalk in downtown Kitchener that attracted a great deal of attention isn’t the finished product, officials say.
The sidewalk, located at the northwest corner of Queen and Charles streets, has a much smaller turning radius than it did before construction of the Ion light rail transit system began.
At its narrowest, it was measured Tuesday at approximately one metre – less than the 1.2 to 1.5 metres required under Ontario’s rules for accessibility.
Mark Jackson-Brown of transport advocacy group TriTAG says the small sidewalk is particularly concerning to him because it is a busy spot for pedestrians. It’s only expected to get busier once the LRT is up and running, as there’s a stop at the intersection.
“Lots of pedestrians will be coming through here, but there’s no space for them,” he said Tuesday.
“Everything’s been designed for cars first, and whatever is left after they’ve made space for cars, they give to the pedestrians or the bicycles.”
Also concerning to Jackson-Brown and others is that the curb has been lowered to the street level – meaning drivers and pedestrians will be travelling closer together than they’re used to.
“It feels dangerous now,” Jackson-Brown said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for GrandLinq said that the current setup is only a “temporary solution”, despite its appearance.
Final sidewalks and pedestrian accesses could be completed later this year, the spokesperson said.
With reporting by Marc Venema