Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A Sidewalk Will Be Installed, Safety Concern Almost Resolved

I was really happy with how everything turned out, how quickly the issue was resolved, and how the Accessibility Advisor handled it.

The results are in for the requested sidewalk I blogged about before in the following published posts, a safety concerns: “A Practical Mother’s Day Gift To Come, Hopefully” and “National Access Awareness Week In Aurora, A Sidewalk“.

I reached out to the Superstore in Aurora and the Town of Aurora to voice my concerns about the safety of pedestrians accessing the store property, especially mothers with strollers.

For three years, my son and I would walk from St. John’s Sideroad and Pinnacle Trail to the Superstore at least once or twice a week. We always entered the store from the North-West corner. Getting to the Superstore meant either pushing the stroller against oncoming traffic on the East side of Earl Stewart Drive, or pushing it on the grass on the same side of the street. Both ways were tough and unsafe.

Last Friday, I captured another instance of a mother with a double stroller leaving the Superstore. She was walking along the side of the road, with cars driving beside her in the same direction, to reach the traffic lights.

Pedestrian, North-West Side of the Superstore

I was really happy with how everything turned out, how quickly the issue was resolved, and how the Accessibility Advisor handled it. The Town of Aurora’s Infrastructure and Environmental Services division looked into the problem and suggestions, and they decided that a sidewalk could be put in on the Town’s property. Right now, the Works Department is taking care of it.

Pedestrian, North-West Side of the Superstore

With an increasing number of Aurora residents relying on public transportation and walking to get around, it’s crucial to prioritize pedestrian safety and accessibility to properties. In my letter to the Accessibility Advisory Committee, I highlighted the significance of ensuring easy and safety access to properties, not just the buildings themselves:

1. Access to retail properties must be designed for pedestrians as well as drivers.

2. Pedestrian access must include people with physical challenges.

3. People with physical challenges must include parents with strollers.

Pedestrian, North-West Side of the Superstore

Unfortunately, the Superstore has really bad accessibility all around. The North-West and North-East sides are particularly problematic. The North-West side will be fixed by the Town soon to make it easier and safer. The North-East side technically has a sidewalk, so it’s safe to walk on. But getting to the store from that side is still a hassle. This could be a problem for future residents living on the other side of Bayview Avenue.

Pedestrian, North-West Side of the Superstore

Unfortunately, the old saying “the customer is always right” doesn’t always hold true. Customers are typically considered right when they are spending money, but when the vendor is footing the bill to keep the customer satisfied, things can get a bit tricky.

To wrap things up, I want to tell you a little story that I’ve been itching to share. A while back, we had a trio of skunks hanging out in our backyard. We called animal services, but they couldn’t do anything about it. They suggested we make it harder for the skunks to get in, and they’d eventually move on. So, we did just that, and sure enough, the skunks found a new, easier spot to hang out. Just goes to show, sometimes a simple solution is all you need!

COMMENTS

James said: July 28, 2011 at 19:34

Good for you, Anna. It takes a lot of determination to pursue these problems and wonder if a complaint will be considered fairly. I’m glad that it looks like something will be done eventually. It’s interesting that this is handled by the Accessibility Advisor. As if people are considered disabled simply by not having a car, or want to walk, or have a stroller with a child. Markham (where I work) drives me nuts sometimes. Their idea of a bike path is to put up a sign on a dangerous road with a pictogram of a cyclist! James

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: July 31, 2011 at 00:27

James, thanks. I think I will be following up with the Works Department, lol, to ensure it is done. The bike idea sign on the dangerous road is crazy. Someone should complain about that, LOL.

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