I have serious concerns about the waste of taxpayers’ money to build a $7.6 million pedestrian bridge across the Conestoga Parkway from the Chandler/Strasburg area to the Avalon/Southmoor area.
Regional Council approved the construction of this bridge unanimously supported by the four Kitchener regional councillors (Tom Galloway, Elizabeth Clarke, Geoff Lorentz and Karen Redman) notwithstanding that I appeared before the Regional Planning and Works Committee to argue against it. The Environmental Assessment has now gone through its public process and everything was carried out properly by all parties and due diligence was done as I see it. I read over the lengthy report that was available for public review and have no objection to the EA process.
However, this is a case of a carrot of money dangling from the feds with the Regional transit staff jumping on board to build something not needed. The Region wants to provide bridge access to the bus routes on Chandler that are not available in the Avalon area. There was bus service in the Avalon/Stirling area for years until the transit staff removed it for lack of ridership a few years ago. Now they want a few potential passengers using this bridge.
I monitored the another pedestrian bridge built in the early 1970s from Dixon area to Boniface for school children the other day. I counted twelve pedestrian students using the bridge in the morning and the same in the afternoon going to and from Rockway Public School. Other than that no one else was using the bridge.
The Region is also spending about the same amount of money at $7.3 million widening Highland Rd from Ira Needles to Fischer-Hallman from two lanes to four. This road will carry around 20,000 vehicles daily. Now this is money well spent.
But this pedestrian bridge has no vision.