New Sidewalk Priority Plan

It all started in June 2017 with a Council decision to install a sidewalk on Abbott Boulevard.  But citizens there objected, so Council decided to ask staff to prepare a policy using agreed rules as to which sidewalks had priority. In April 2018, Laurie Wills created a complex plan based on rules and listed priorities for sidewalks for the next 20 years or so (see link below to Sidewalk Priority Plan).  This was then approved by Council but this meant that the sidewalk on Northwood drive was now number one and residents there suddenly realized what was happening.  On 25 June 2018 Donna Woods made a delegation to Council where she objected to the new plan.  Because of her objections, Council deferred constructing sidewalks on Northwood Drive (and others on the plan) and sent the Sidewalk Priority Plan back to Staff for review.

Director of Works Laurie Wills
Director of Works Laurie Wills

In a second presentation to Council on February 19, 2019 Donna pointed out that one of the problems with the original plan was that it included consideration of distances from parks, schools, transit etc based on aerial measurements and not walking distances. (See links to her presentation in meeting report at link below: Busy Council Meeting on February 19).  In response to that, Council asked that the revised plan should use such measurements and despite an objection that this would take a lot of time, asked for it to be available in time for 2020 budget considerations.  In working on the plan based on the new criteria, staff (Laurie Wills – file photo above/right) also made some other changes – see staff memo in links below. This new plan will be presented to Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday October 15 and is included in the Agenda for that meeting.

And surprise, surprise!  The new top priority is Abbott Boulevard.

Here are the top 5 priorities:

Street Sidewalks Estimated cost
Abbott Blvd. From Coronation to King, from Lakeshore to Coronation, from Coronation South to Coronation North $133,600
D’Arcy St. From Elgin to Nickerson $20,800
Hayden Cr. From Burwash East to Burwash West $66,000
Heath St. From William to Burnham $42,600
Densmore Rd. From Division to Otto, from Otto to Birchwood $ 83,000

Northwood is way down the list.

Note that the plan has already been strongly endorsed by the Transportation Advisory Committee

In her memo to council, Works Director Laurie Wills finishes with:

The next steps will be for the Town to develop an official policy for the implementation of new sidewalks in the Town of Cobourg, based on the subject Sidewalk Priority Plan.

Stay tuned to see what a new policy looks like, whether council approves this new priority plan and whether there will be fresh objections from residents on Abbot Boulevard.


Update – October 16, 2019

When the Sidewalk Priority Plan came up for approval, Councillor Emily Chorley moved an amendment. She wanted an implementation policy created that would require public engagement before any sidewalks were built. As a minimum it would make use of the Bang the Table software on Engage Cobourg. Adam Bureau and Brian Darling disagreed and said that current practice meant that nearby residents would get plenty of notice (~60 days) and would have plenty of time to voice their concerns to staff or Council. Emily’s amendment was defeated and the following was passed:

THAT Council approve the revised 2019 Sidewalk Priority Plan as provided in the Report.

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I live on Abbott Blv and have been walking my daughter to school for that last 3 years. WE NEED A SIDEWALK! So very glad to see Abbott on the top of the list. The street is full of cars parked along both sides dropping off/picking up high school students–which means that the extra-wide street isn’t so wide. I end up walking around these vehicles with my 7 year old, putting us closer to the middle of the street and traffic. It’s much worse in the winter. There are a number of kids on our street in the 8-9 age range walking solo and navigating this traffic on their own. Sidewalks are safer, and we need one for sure.

Abbot’s the street my young nephew would walk along to get to school, if there were a sidewalk.

to all those who extol Abbott Blvd as accident free, take a moment to look up or reflect on the case of an Abbott Blvd resident and cyclist, Roger Brown, who was seriously injured and I believe died as a result of an accident while cycling home on Abbott Blvd.

I recall that also Manfred.

Accuracy is always good but… Since cycling on the sidewalk is prohibited how would a sidewalk have affected Mr. Brown’s demise?

that information is aimed at the multiple references that Abbott is and has been since the 50s, an accident-free street and thus needn’t be changed for any reason. If that escapes your logic, that’s unfortunate.

The proposed sidewalk would have had no impact on the single accident so mentioning the accident is an irrelevant distraction.

Multiple false assertions to support an argument is the real distraction:
1. MCGA commented, “With no fatalities on Abbott, ever…”
2. MCGA commented, “In nearly 70 years there has not been a single pedestrian or bicycle accident.
3. MCGA commented, “A 70 year perfect safety record, including periods in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the number of children greatly surpassed the number today, is the best evidence that it is not required on Abbott.
4. rural commented, “With no fatalities on Abbott, ever,
5. MCGA commented, “Again, 70 years, Zero accidents

It’s a good thing that Manfred had the memory of that fatality, that triggered my memory of that incident. It touched a lot of people in Cobourg because of the depth of social knowledge that Cobourgers had for each other in those days and especially the circumstances that surrounded Roger Brown.

I have asked the 65 year plus Cobourg resident and long time past resident of Abott. His recollection is that the boy was cycling back to his home on Abbott from school and was struck on hwy 2 at the intersection with Abbott. (You should note that I asked him the same risk question two years ago, when the Town first raised the sidewalk issue, and he indicated there was no history of accidents, zero.)
Not to be legalistic about a tragedy but it was not on Abbott. And, as an aside, there were sidewalks along the highway. Though as Ken rightly points out cyclists are not suppose to employ them so it is not relevant to the issue. So again, where are the injuries, over 70 years, from the absence of a sidewalk? If you come up with none, and you have obviously not, than where is the risk argument? And if there are none, why spend $133K protect the residents who, based upon the 2017 petition, did not want it?

Because death should not be a prerequisite for a project to proceed. In this case, Council has a duty to all Cobourg residents, not just Abbott Blvd residents.

Not a prerequisite but certainly an excelerent. That said, properly managed entities prioritize actions and expenditures based upon many things, not the least of which is risk. If safety is a very high priority than identifying the highest points of risk and reducing or eliminating them would be a reasonable strategy. If a 70 year track record establishes minimal or no risk why would that properly managed organization expend cash to change it?

just listen to and watch what happens if and eventually when, heaven forbid!, another life is lost there. Then all the concern for the almighty buck will evaporate and the blame game will consume the discussion. But until then go ahead and wring your hands over the $133,000!

You quickly dismiss spending $133,000. Have you considered that that amount is about $15 per Cobourg family? I suspect that many families who subsist on ODP or CPP would prefer the money.

As a concession to accuracy, as you advocated earlier, please don’t imply that the $133,000 would have prevented the only fatal accident on Abbott in the last 70 years.

not implying anything. On the contrary, I’m saying it could well prevent other accidents which, given all the parameters here, are becoming increasingly more likely to happen.
All those bright silver ‘walk signal posts’ installed at many intersections over the past few years were installed to help the visually handicapped navigate crossings, ostensibly to prevent accidents and not necessarily in response to ‘increased risks’ and by your rationale that would be a misuse of ‘scarce resources’. What did these cost every average family not having to live with visual handicaps? How much, per families without high school kids in them, did the little piece of sidewalk from CDCI to the corner of D’Arcy cost? How much does it cost every non-biking family to paint “bike lane lines” on the streets of Cobourg? Need I go on, or do you see my point about “preventing” as opposed to “reacting after the fact”, regardless of risk assessments which are wildly inaccurate predictors in my view?

It reminds of being an eight year old in Montreal. We lived on a new street in the west end with concrete sidewalks on both sides.

Street hockey was a common thing. Neighbours also had the habit of parking at the curb instead of their driveways.

Nobody was ever hit by a car while playing hockey but my close friend across the street darted out in the road between two parked cars and was seriously hurt. I will always remember the scene and the lesson I learned.

As traffic increased, they made the street one-way and after the car accident they rotated parking between both sides of the street.

Sidewalks had no influence on the safety of kids back then as we seldom used them. We road our bikes and played hockey on the road.

Traffic volumes are greater today, then 50 years ago. Two cars per family is normal now, Abbott is a bus route and snow plows and salt trucks during the winter This increases the safety progile. Any reasonable person would know that if a street has a sidewalk, then it would be safer than a street without.

That may well be correct but I suspect, based upon the current demographic, the walking and cycling volumes are much lower. I also suspect that the traffic volume has been fairly consistent over the last 10 or 15 years based upon limited new construction. And, in that time, no adverse incidents. Speaks very well of the street design, does it not? And further challenges the need for change?

To my point, a street would be safer with a sidewalk than without. The past is just that, the past and let’s be thankful there have been minimal injuries. One injury going forward is too many and there is a responsibility to provide an option (such as a sidewalk) that may have prevented it.

You can always make things safer. In this case you could add speed bumps, eliminate all street parking, paint a lane divider and a bike lane, place traffic lights on both ends, post a 20 km/hr speed limit, increase the night lighting, or, eliminate all but local traffic. The core questions are: where is the evidence that asses the risks and quantifies the need? Then, is that risk significant enough to justify the cost?

All of these options will not provide the safety that a sidewalk would. Also regarding the risk profile – if the street was owned by an individual and was used by pedestrians, children, etc. and they had to carry liability insurance would the insurance be less if the street had a sidewalk then if it did not?

You rely on the hearsay of a 65 year old. I rely on the memory of those who were here for longer than 65 years, myself and Manfred included. So again, “70 years, Zero accidents.” Wow the most perfectly safe street in the whole world, accident-free for 7 decades. That is a groundless assertion, and ludicrous to boot. .

btw, MCGA, Roger was not a “boy” but a grown man. If your “65 year plus Cobourg resident and long time past resident of Abott” does not recall that, I wonder about their ‘recollections’ and their value here in the first place.

I have asked the 65 year plus Cobourg resident and long time past resident of Abott. His recollection is that the boy was cycling back to his home on Abbott from school and was struck on hwy 2 at the intersection with Abbott. Not to be legalistic about a tragedy but it was not on Abbott.

Now you’ve got me curious. I couldn’t find anything online about the Roger Brown accident and the validity of a 65+ year old’s memory has come into question. So, I’ll ask Manfred and Wally (and his 65+ year old acquaintances), did this accident indeed happen on Abbott Blvd., or on King St. (Hwy 2)?

I’ll try to confirm the details but it will take time so stay tuned.

So the statement should have been: “A 70 year perfect safety record for accidents that would have been prevented by having a sidewalk, including periods in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the number of children greatly surpassed the number today, is the best evidence that it is not required on Abbott.”
It is rather a mouthful! The long version makes absolutely no difference to the observation: “A sidewalk would not have reduced accidents on Abbott over the last 70 years.”

True, hard to get below none.

MCGA, obviously only “deaths” and no consideration of near misses is the only metric when it comes to risk assessments in cases such as this, that moves your needle. Pretty hard core and apparently simply driven by $$$

unless you have full knowledge of the circumstances of that accident you can not give validity to a statement like yours, and those of some others, that assume much …”So again, where are the injuries, over 70 years, from the absence of a sidewalk? If you come up with none, and you have obviously not, than where is the risk argument? ” or “The proposed sidewalk would have had no impact on the single accident so mentioning the accident is an irrelevant distraction.” as just two examples.

how unlikely is it that there are probably innumerable ‘near misses’ that go unreported, given that there has been at least one fatality attributable to the conditions in that area? What are the odds?

No metric in risk management readily measures things that do not happen. There are no sidewalks on most of Lakeshore and more intersections, how many near misses do you think have happened? More or less than Abbott? Cobourg had a train derailment, what is the probability of another? How much would you spend to defend things that occur “in the area” and so infrequently? Professional risk managers consult actuaries to reasonably measure probability of events. Is that how it is decided in the Town?

Risk assessment considers all risk that are associated with a given situation, not just historical factors.

This is an interesting line of discussion. Risk assessment also involves setting priorities. For example, if the priority in operations is to optimize a street as a public asset for all user groups (young, old, drivers, walkers, riders, etc.) ahead of making top priority moving vehicular traffic as quickly as possible or storing even more vehicles on the street, we may find a different result for the same asset.

I have had close encounters driving down Abbott Blvd both from cars backing out of driveways and teenagers walking to school down the middle of the road, When you turn south and there they are there is little chance to stop. School entry time is very dangerous . The price of a sidewalk is nothing compared to a young life. I live on Nickerson Dr where for more than 60 years there have been no sidewalks. I hold my breath every time we have construction vehicles on the street and little children walking around them on their way to school. Add to that our local speeders and especially parcel delivery trucks. And we soon will have two four way stops to deal with if development plans proceed. Think!

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Concrete sidewalks are so yesterday anyway.
Calgary is experimenting with rubber sidewalk sections.
The rubber is poured in place the same way as concrete.
Black rubber, which is more cost efficient, is used to complete the bottom layer of the sidewalk and the top layer appears grey to match the existing surrounding concrete.
Can also be coloured puce or chartreuse for an extra thrill.

Let us know how the experiment works out.

At the intersection of Third Street and Albert, the concrete pedestrian crosswalk is coloured burgundy. The expense of adding colour is negligible. By attrition, whenever a sidewalk is going in, why not make all north/south sidewalks a pastel blue because they lead towards the lake; all east/west sidewalks be a pastel green? Add some colour to our lives, especially in winter when it is dominated with the white regime, and shoveled sidewalks reveal a thin green stripe or blue or some colour.

I’m amazed with all the towns work and all the comments that the poor condition of D’Arcy St has not been mentioned. This street has had 3 fatalities in 6 or 7 years. I’m told 4 fatalities but can’t verify the fourth. Three is enough! This must be the towns most dangerous street. Obviously the supposed engineers who designed each of the 5 or 6 very different PARTS of the street had little respect for each others work and the town went along with this. The most recent work is different than all the other parts! So, we have a situation were sidewalks begin and end in a random pattern, make it almost to a corner but you have to step across grass to cross the street. Some are paved and nice and wide while others are concrete and narrow. Added to this are bicycle lanes that are off the paved road way and then dump onto the pavement only to move off again and then simply disappear. Many students leave the High School and Thomas Gillbard which are both next to the East side of D’Arcy. If they are headed to the residential area to the south west of… Read more »

This is a strong reason to have elected counsellors responsible for wards or areas. This would mean having a responsibility to the residents who elected them and a vested interest in the ward. Having portfolios as they do now does not hold the elected accountable which is seen time and again.

the entire Council is accountable to the citizens for everything they do or do not do. Wards actually reduce that accountability down to one Councillor. How is that an improvement?

Quality and accountability override quantity. It is too easy under the current system to dodge and say – it is not me you need to speak bring this issue up with ….

what does that even mean in this small off-topic digression ?🙄

Excellent case in point Doug. Limited Town resources should be allocated to affect the greatest good. Fixing a road that is unsafe to the point of deadly has to be a higher priority than a concrete strip on a road that is, based upon seven decades of history, safe. Would think that the Town would employ some form of risk vs. reward calculation in measuring needs.

Is it cheaper to “fix a road that is unsafe to the point of deadly” meaning the Darcy St RR crossing, or cheaper to build a wide pathway on Kerr from Division to Darcy to facilitate senior citizens on mobility devices and students on bikes getting to the CCC without having to cross a deadly RR crossing?

I did bring that RR/Darcy crossing to the attention to Town Council four years ago, I think. I pointed out that senior citizens who live south of the tracks put their lives at risk if they try to reach the CCC. The Town did do some remedial work on a section of sidewalk. Nevertheless, it still requires mobility devices to bank up to the road, rumble across the tracks and down again to a sidewalk. By paving the Kerr Street extension from Division to Darcy it will open a safe route for mobility scooters

Would paving a walkway between Division and Darcy rather then building a new road be more effective. It would provide a safe means for pedestrians/bikes/mobility scooters to cross; and more cost effective.

A walkway, scooter path and bicycle path would seem a sensible suggestion. A roadway between Division and D’Arcy St. would seem to be just creating a speedway between the two streets so cars can travel faster. And this is from someone with a heavy foot.

Is it cheaper to build a well designed and long lasting path from Division to Darcy, or will it be cheaper to repair the RR crossing at Darcy? How long will it take to negotiate with the railway companies, especially CPR, to let Cobourg repair the sections between the tracks, compared to the time it will take to build a path on Kerr? Speed bumps and curves will tame the heavy footers.

Paving a walkway is ok but there is the problem of it buckling and heaving after a few seasons. Try driving a mobility device from north of the railway tracks on Division to Elgin and you’ll know what I mean. But it will be cheap.

If professionally constructed there would be no problem with buckling, etc.

The asphalt path up Division St to Elgin was professionally constructed; go try riding it on a scooter to get the real experience of it.

it makes sense to have a full length and fully accessible cross-town route between King and Elgin. That is obvious to anyone who has lived in Cobourg for a number of years.
When the 3rd 401 interchange is built, that will render the Kerr St. route invaluable.

I walk on Abbott Boulevard, every day, twice a day, for 20 years.
It is unsafe! Vehicles regularly speed on the street. It is a bus route. Try walking alongside parked cards on the street when a bus comes along. What about the kids going to and from school? And what about accessibility? I have seen folks in wheel chairs and using walkers navigating this street. Would you want to do that? Miriam Mutton’s comments are interesting, as I believe she has a sidewalk. I pay taxes. I want a sidewalk. I hope Council will
do the right thing and get this built asap!

hi Eastender, I hear you about having a big vehicle like a bus go close by. I also support exploring options with a neighbourhood for their street. Consider that people using bicycles will still have to use the paved section between curbs. Why not investigate options, like a painted line to create a multiuse path? Abbott Blvd is wide, built to standards of several decades ago. To compare, the section between curbs on the street in front of my home is narrower, the width of two driving lanes. Parking permitted on one side for a few hours only on weekends when drivers have to yield in order to pass parked vehicles. People living here include young families and older persons, and also many people walking to nearby stores or train station. We regularly get speeders attempting to avoid three sets of traffic lights on the major streets as well as full size transport tractor/trailer vehicles serving area businesses. The street was rebuilt in 2000 and the choice was made to minimize the section between the curbs so that there could be sidewalks on both sides and room for street trees and snow piling. At the time, the area also had… Read more »

Wouldn’t eliminating the bus on Abbott be far more cost effective than building sidewalks for $133,000?

if that’s even an argument up for consideration here, why stop at cutting out Abbott when you could get super-duper cost effective and get rid of the bus(es) altogether?

Wanna bet people will still walk on the asphalted part of the street even if a sidewalk is installed? Think winter. The street will be cleaned before any continuous length of sidewalk. Old Sailor’s comment below brings to mind that every street has its ‘character’, how people use it including drivers and pedestrians. And, if Abbott Blvd works now and is safe I am not sure how adding a sidewalk fits in when the real issue is at the top of Abbott at King/Cottesmore … heavy traffic of all kinds happens at beginning and end of the school day.

I read the staff report and it is apparent much work went into it. It is a necessary document. It is a solid starting point for discussion with the neighbourhoods affected. There are options in the design of safe streets.

Miriam, as for pedestrians, ya just can’t figure ’em. D’Arcy between the parking lot and Lakeshore Dr has a new sidewalk, nevertheless, more often than not, pedestrians walk on the road right next to it, sometimes 3, 4 abreast, and couldn’t give a hoot about traffic turning from Lakeshore onto D’Arcy. Safety seems to be the last thing on their mind.

Abbott Blvd. Love it! Enjoy your new sidewalk.

Nasty comment. Glad I don’t have you for a neighbour.

Ha! Children and the elderly walk by my house using our sidewalk all year. I am happy to tend to it for them as a good neighbour. The neighbours you don’t want are the ones on Abbott Blvd who put up a fight against a safer way to get around for those who don’t own cars.

It is hard to understand the benefit of simply placing sidewalks on every Town street. Abbott Blvd, as an example, has existed in its current form since the mid-1950s. It was specifically built overly wide to accommodate walkers and bicyclists. In nearly 70 years there has not been a single pedestrian or bicycle accident.. Can’t we come up with a better, more imaginative use for $133K of taxpayers’ money? How about the East Pier repairs as an example. IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT.

The Old Sailor and The Old Doll often make their way down Abbott Blvd. as part of their periodic 6 km walk we call the “old joints” test walk. Miraculously as we walk down the Abbot Blvd. roadway margins (port and starboard margins) we have not been clipped by erratic senior car drivers, e-bike wobblers or other fringe road users. In fact it is quite a pleasant journey down the length of Abbot Blvd. to Lakeshore Road. And we don’t have to play follow the leader down Abbott Blvd. like on the other Cobourg sidewalks.

A tip of the hat to leaving the Abbott Blvd’s in Cobourg staying as they are.

Where do you walk in the winter? Middle of the road or middle of a snowbank? Sidewalks are safer, period, end of discussion. The fact that this is pushed by the accessibility committee tells you all you need to know. Just because you have no problem walking on a road doesn’t mean others don’t have a problem. If you enjoy it so much then I suppose you will keep doing so when there is a sidewalk in place.

“…end of discussion.”

Perhaps in your mind but for many it isn’t.

The fact that it is pushed by the Accessibility Committee or for that matter any committee doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. The mere suggestion that every roadway must have a sidewalk is absolute nonsense.

People have a right to voice their opinion and yours certainly isn’t the key one that counts in this instance.

If the people on Abbott St. prefer no sidewalks, the decision should be theirs to make and theirs alone.

Staff on this matter have been like the unrelenting Energizer Bunny. Ignoring the public who live on Abbott and bringing in the cement trucks against their wishes certainly isn’t the way to foster good community relations.

Alright let’s go with the key voice that counts, the towns, sidewalk is going in. End of discussion. NIMBYs should not be setting town policies.

The voice of the town is what matters? The town works for the people rather than the people for the town.

Not sure how the town fails to include the specific residents of the town. Not every street requires a sidewalk to be safe. A 70 year perfect safety record, including periods in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the number of children greatly surpassed the number today, is the best evidence that it is not required on Abbott. Smothering lawns with concrete is only in the best interest of the guy selling the concrete. Lastly, if you only have a limited amount of taxpayer dollars, why waste any on fixing something that already works. Try fixing all those things that are already broken, like the East Pier, etc. which are regularly used and enjoyed by a large part of the whole Town.

I don’t live on Abbott Blvd but I live close enough that I have experienced some close encounters with speeding vehicles.

Do you feel that my opinion is irrelevant because I don’t live on Abbott Blvd?

Quite frankly I do.

If Abbott Blvd were a gated community used only by the residents then, sure. But it isn’t and people from anywhere in Town can drive down it, walk down it, roller blade down it, indeed everyone in Northumberland has a right to walk down Abbott Blvd, indeed everyone in the world, and each one of them has a right to an opinion about Abbott Blvd. Any Canuck who claims to be a patriot knows this fact.

Wally, does having the right to traverse a space grant a right to change it?
Who enjoys the greater right to decide change: the resident or the transient?

It doesn’t “grant a right to change it” but does grant the right to an opinion by everyone in the world to influence that change because they have the right to traverse that public/common space. To suggest that only those who reside on Abbott Blvd have the right to express an opinion about the common space called Abbott Blvd is ill informed. A real patriot of Canada would encourage widening the parameters of free speech rather than shutting it down like a turf lord.

Is the First Amendment greater than the Second Amendment? “Who enjoys the greater right” is a dangerous road to travel down. Who enjoys the greater right to free speech? The articulate or the illiterate? Who enjoys the greater right to affect the economy? The wealthy or the poor? Who enjoys the greater right is well expressed in Animal Farm; some animals are more equal than others. A true Canuck patriot would never proselytize such anti-democratic ideas or shut down free speech like a turf lord.

I respectfully disagree. Simply having right of access does not grant the right of change. Certainly, anyone can voice an opinion. But, that opinion can not be unilaterally acted upon unless the individual has the right of ownership or something comparable. The weekend visitors to Cobourg beach have the right to use that beach because the Town grants that right. If, in the visitors’ opinion, the lifeguard stands should be moved or removed, they do not have the right to do that because they do not have ownership. Does the opinion of the weekend beach visitor equal that of the owners (taxpayers) since they don’t pay for changes and they don’t have a local vote? This right of ownership predates both the first and second Ammendments as well as Animal farm. So I ask the question again: who has the greater right to DECIDE change, the resident or the transient?

If you bothered to take the time to read my comment you would have noticed that my opening sentence was “It doesn’t grant a right to change it”.

So what is it that you respectfully disagree with?

“The weekend visitors to Cobourg beach have the right to use that beach because the Town grants that right.”

ABSOLUTELY WRONG! The constitution and Charter of Rights grants that right, not the Town.

Wrong again Wally, the federal portion of the beach runs from the high water mark out. The town and, in certain circumstances, other private entities have control.of land above the high water mark.The Town could limit access in the same way The Beaches does.

Really? Wrong again? What else was I wrong with? or is this just a made-up throwaway comment without merit?

The Town cannot prevent any human being from enjoying the beach except for an imminent emergency or safety reasons or admission charge. Everyone has a right to enjoy that beach, and everyone has a right to opine about it just like every human being has a right to traverse Abbott Blvd and to opine about it. Of course there are human beings who proselytize that only the residents of Abbott Blvd can opine on that street. Unlike you, I promote openness and free speech, whereas you overlook this egregious comment by a so-called Canuck patriot. Hypocritical myopia.

Does the opinion of the weekend beach visitor equal that of the owners (taxpayers) since they don’t pay for changes and they don’t have a local vote?

It’s not about the absolute terms. It’s about listening, especially listening for the merit (if any) of any opinion, whether it comes from a card-carrying Cobourgista, or a passing urban consultant who just dropped into Town and sent a free letter of recommendation for a particular action. I would look at it first, and not reject it on the basis of the author’s residence. The Town took a survey of park/beach visitors a couple years ago, soliciting their opinions. That had merit. Some people live in gated communities and others live in gated thinking. .

Opinions are readily available from many sources. Some worth spending time considering , other not so much. Arguments rise or fall on their own merit and the quality of the thinking behind them. But for someone who pushes rights and freedoms and openmindeness you are too eager to discard individual rights including how individual elect to live, a form of myopia.

“If you bothered to take the time to read my comment you would have noticed that my opening sentence was “It doesn’t grant a right to change it”.

So what is it that you respectfully disagree with?

Didn’t think you could answer that question.

I discarded no individual rights. Your accusation is without merit.

Patriot, what do you do when the wishes are equally devided between yes and no? Would you defer to those who don’t want to, won’t or can’t shovel their section in winter?

In our democracy 50% plus one wins the vote.

sometimes…other scenarios require variations of majorities to effect decisions.

I’ve never felt unsafe walking on Abbott Blvd. it really is a charming blvd with a small town feel. Before we end up like so many larger cities, we need to figure out what Cobourg wants to be. More people are moving here and if we are in a rush to dig up everything, level history and pave over it, we will up up with a homogeneous town, with no character. I think that Abbott Blvd has character. It’s been like this since 1950.

No one can deny that we are in the midst of a climate change. Personally I don’t understand why we want to dig up green space and pour concrete over it. With no fatalities on Abbott, ever, I would like to see $133,000 spent on social, environmental issues or to preserve Cobourg’s unique heritage.

No one can deny that we are in the midst of a climate change.”

The science is not settled on that issue. Patrick Moore is a highly informed dissident to the climate change scenario.


“With no fatalities on Abbott, ever,”

That is not true, either.

Entirely agree Rural. I have spoken with people who grew up on Abbott in the late 1950s. They walked and biked to grammar and high school without fear of speeding traffic, and survived to tell the tale. Again, 70 years, Zero accidents. How about the Town simply asking the street residents: 1. Do you see a need and a benefit? 2.Is a $133K strip of concrete good value for money? And, 3. What would you prefer to do with $133K of taxpayers’ limited cash? Allow the voices of those most directly affected provide the direction. To those few who live in fear of walking on the paved part of Abbott, either consider walking on the grass or traversing another route that has your mandatory strip of cement.

MCGA, please suggest an alternate route.
Further, do you know of or remember the accident involving cyclist Roger Brown who lived on Abbott?

Where are you starting from? I don’t know any road that only exits through Abbott.
Do not know of Roger Brown but, have access to several old timers who have lived on Abbott for decades and one who grew up on Abbott and stayed in Cobourg his whole life, now in his late 60s. His father, an original Abbott homeowner, told him that the road design of Abbott was purposely overly wide to eliminate the need for sidewalks. He believes this information may be in the Town archives as part of the original community planning approval.

Being born here from 1947, I also have had access to several the homes on Abbott; friends I grew up with bicycling up and down Abbott from King to Lakeshore beginning in the 1950s. They are the old timers now, but I also know the previous old timers who were parents to those kids. I bring this up because you brought it up to bolster your perception. My experience of Cobourg spans 72 wonderful years living in our version of Fern Hill. It doesn’t mean that I have greater rights than someone with only 30 years of experience or they just moved into Town last week.

I knew Roger Brown. His father was a wonderful teacher of English at CDCI-W. Roger loved his participation in the 33rd Medium Artillery reserves. It is an insult to his memory when upstart individuals make spurious claims of Abbott Blvd being death-free for 70 years, as if Roger’s death were irrelevant or even non-existent, and for what purpose? .

The people who inform me largely pre date 1947 in Cobourg, some with roots that go back four generations. They are capable, honest and knowledgeable. I trust their information and historical perspectives absolutely. You, not so much. Yes, Kevin Brown was a great teacher and active member of the Town and employing the retelling of history from my resources does nothing to adversely affect that memory or that of his son.

“Ken Brown” … so much for “..I trust their information..”

“The people who inform me largely pre date 1947 in Cobourg, some with roots that go back four generations.” I got five generations of my family here, and I can take you to the cemeteries to prove it. So if you think your four generations trump something; it doesn’t. My five generations trumps yours if you want to play that silly game. Your reliable source said Roger Brown was a “boy” when he died. He was not. If you took the time to read my post you would have known that was untrue because I posted that he was a member of the 33rd Medium Artillery in the reserves. That is not for boys. Ken Brown was my great English teacher in high school. I don’t know who this Kevin Brown is that you extol. Where did that “great teacher”, Kevin Brown, teach? MCGA admonishes me, “So I ask the question again: who has the greater right to DECIDE change, the resident or the transient?” I replied “If you bothered to take the time to read my comment you would have noticed that my opening sentence was “It doesn’t grant a right to change it”. So what is it that… Read more »

for starters, try from Lakeshore at Brook Rd S heading to King St.

So the only way to get to King St from Lakeshore is Abbott? Darcy doesn’t work?

no sidewalk along any stretch of Lakeshore to get to D’Arcy either, and Lakeshore has a tendency as a high traffic speedway, including the Town bus that uses the street as a make-up-time opportunity.

” Again, 70 years, Zero accidents..”

Making up the hyperbolic again or just repeating the falsehood of others?

MCGA commented, “In nearly 70 years there has not been a single pedestrian or bicycle accident.” and “Again, 70 years, Zero accidents”.

So 70 years go by and there was never a fender bender nor ever a rear ender or a single sideswipe of a parked car during snowy streets ever, ever, ever? And you know this to be a fact because of hearsay from an individual who doesn’t know the difference between a boy or man, who doesn’t know the difference between Kenneth Brown and Kevin Brown.

“With no fatalities on Abbott, ever…”
October 19, 2002

you are mistaken MCGA!