Special Report: Walkable Streets

No Accommodation for Vulnerable Pedestrians on King Near Wellington

We routinely provide accommodation to protect drivers and workers, and rightly so, but pedestrians are too often ignored and forgotten.

By Karl Andrus
Published July 11, 2018

On King Street East between Victoria Avenue and Wellington Street, there is some much-needed pedestrian infrastructure maintenance taking place. Ironically, no accommodation for pedestrian travel in these areas has been made during construction.

Sidewalk reconstruction on King Street East between Victoria and Wellington
Sidewalk reconstruction on King Street East between Victoria and Wellington

Sidewalk blocked
Sidewalk blocked

Workers protected and two left-turn lanes maintained
Workers protected and two left-turn lanes maintained

Sidewalk Closed signs
Sidewalk Closed signs

On the north side of the road between Victoria Avenue and West Avenue, sidewalks are being torn up and pylons have been installed to provide protection for workers installing the new sidewalk, but signs indicating no pedestrian access have been installed on that side of the road.

Sidewalk also closed on north side of King
Sidewalk also closed on north side of King

For people in mobility devices and on foot, the signs lead to the option of crossing into the designated work area or crossing the street to the south side, adding to the journey.

To make matters worse, today window-washers had added ad-hoc blocking to the south side of pedestrian traffic for window washing and outdoor maintenance work.

Sidewalk blocked for window-washers at West Avenue and King
Sidewalk blocked for window-washers at West Avenue and King

Walking past West Avenue a little around the First Place retirement and hospice care centre, pharmacy and well-used corner store on the way to Wellington Street.

The south-side sidewalks are torn up, and the sidewalk is closed and inaccessible to Wellington, adding further to the struggle of those with mobility issues who need access towards downtown and Dennangers.

Sidewalks on the north side of King Street East between West Avenue and Wellington Street North are also seeing repairs and detours. Further accommodation had been made again for workers repairing the sidewalk, but zero accommodation for pedestrians or those elderly and disabled folks who call First Place home.

Easy access is also obstructed to the bus stop at the corner of Wellington Street and King Street. The signalized crosswalk blocked on the south side forces someone to cross without lights at West Avenue, or else backtrack to Victoria to safe-cross the street.

Many local residents have mobility challenges
Many local residents have mobility challenges

No thought was given to the needs of residents in the area or our most vulnerable in the community. However, southbound car traffic at the turning lane at Wellington was pretty much unimpeded.

This is completely unacceptable! Neither the contractors nor the City have made any accommodation or thought to how those who depend on these sidewalks would be affected.

This should give City staff, the mayor and our Councillors serious pause in better mitigating construction for all residents who use this corridor. If there is a war being waged on modes of transportion, it certainly isn't against the car.

Karl Andrus recently returned to his hometown of Hamilton after attending Brock University majoring in History. He is a proud son of journalist and local activist the late Kate Andrus. He lives in Stinson, loves the vibrant and growing city, is Co-Chair of the Stinson Community Association and is active in many local groups and initiatives.

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By Carolan (registered) | Posted July 19, 2018 at 06:01:12

That is really sad to see. I was hoping they would get the accomodation money from the https://samedaypapers.com/ site, as other people have gotten, but they didn't get it. I am not happy about that, at all right now.

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