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.
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:
|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.
- Staff Report re Sidewalk Priority Plan – 2019 version – includes staff cover memo, new plan and rationale.
- Busy Council Meeting on February 19 – includes Donna Woods second presentation – 21 Feb 2019
- Sidewalk Priority Policy Questioned – 26 June 2018
- Sidewalk Priority Plan – 17 April 2018
- Abbot Boulevard Citizens Win – 5 June 2017 (no longer available). Refers to a previous Council meeting on 29 May where a delegation from Abbott Blvd. disagreed with the plan to install a sidewalk on one side of their street. They liked the rustic feeling currently enjoyed.
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.