Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Roadkill or Roadkill Not

I am sure that the geese will eventually find their way back to the pond.

I consider Canada goose to be very lucky not to be the ‘roadkill’ on the St. John’s Sideroad. They move freely from one side of the street to the other, and cars honk their horns and actually stop for them to pass. Why not the same privilege for the poor muskrat or poor rabbit lying there flattened to the ground? Drivers know that McKenzie Marsh is abundant in wildlife and must drive with caution.

Canada goose Crossing St. John’s Sideroad in Aurora

Now, about the openings in the railing along the boardwalk. Last summer, when I was walking along the boardwalk, one day out of the blue, posts were taken out from the railing. It seemed unusual due to the regular pattern, every so many meters. I suspected that this was a ‘relief valve’ for the geese to go back to the pond. However, if you think about it, it is actually a safety issue for the parents walking with their children. Children like to look at the pond, and they try to push themselves through the railing no matter how small the opening is, using their feet and hands to throw stones or sticks.

McKenzie Marsh Boardwalk in Aurora

What happened next? Well, in the fall, a yellow caution tape finally showed up. Don’t you think it is kind of too late for that? Yes, it is – I said then. With lots of hope, seeing the yellow tape, I thought that the railing would be soon fixed. Waited the winter out. Spring is here, and all we get is just another band-aid – a wooden fence on each opening. I am now very convinced that the posts were taken out deliberately for the geese to go back to the pond. Result – I will be very upset if they remove the temporary fencing for the geese this summer.

Just A Snail in Aurora (before)

We worry about the geese, but to me it is a serious safety issue. I am sure that the geese will eventually find their way back to the pond. If it is a nesting issue, then instead of creating an inviting garden, put some stones around – or something to keep them away.

Now you can see the preferential treatment for Canada goose – a roadkill not; for a muskrat, a rabbit, a snail killed recently on the St. John’s Sideroad – a roadkill; for citizens – I’d rather not talk about it.

COMMENTS

Michael said: April 13, 2011 at 16:57

If I remember correctly, the original concept for reconstruction of St. John’s Sideroad by the Region of York and the Town of Aurora required that culverts be put in under the road to let wildlife to go through. I think, and this goes a while back so I may be wrong, there should be a total of three culverts. Of the three, two should be “wet” crossing so that water is in the bottom of the culvert and one “dry”. I would have a hunch that all three (2 wet and 1 dry) would be suitable for a Canada Goose and, for that matter, ducks to waddle or paddle their way through. So I see no reason for there to be breaks in the wooden fence that would endanger children and other passers by. In fact I would believe replacing the fence pieces so a solid fence is present would be more encouraging of the Canada Geese to use the culverts and not the roadway.

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: April 14, 2011 at 01:13

Michael, you are right about the culverts. As a matter of fact, I looked into one when there were cameras monitoring them, and probably someone is holding a gallery of my face with all the other animals that pass through those culverts, lol. The issue with children is that they are not big enough to look over the railing, so they try to look through. Well, this is what I see. My little guy still attempts to do that despite my warnings every time, but until he fully understands, he will always try to explore. It is my job to look after him, so it is my responsibility. In the last couple of years, the population of Canada goose on the boardwalk has really increased. There are more nesting close to the boardwalk, more walking on the boardwalk, and more crossings as you see in the picture; they also hang around the middle section. I have also seen one nesting on the side of the curb on the boardwalk. This is why I assumed the breaks in the fence. Contacting and searching for answers is time-consuming for me, at least for now, but I should contact the town and find out why. Michael, thanks again for your comment. I appreciate your valuable input.

Michael said: April 14, 2011 at 08:40

Anna: A couple of ideas on how to get this sorted out:

1. Contact the Public Works Department (or whatever they call themselves now) and see what the status is on this.

2. Contact Mayor Dawe who is both a local council representative and Regional representative as I believe this may be both a local (sidewalk issue) and Regional (street) issue. When the road was reconstructed the Region handheld the bridge and road alignment while the town did the sidewalks. Mayor Dawe may be able to do some digging on this issue both at the local and Regional level to resolve the issue.

3. Contact “The Fixer” of the Toronto Star 🙂 This should be an entertaining story for them to cover and resolve.

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: April 15, 2011 at 21:07

Michael, thank you so much for your ideas, they are a good start. I will look up The Fixer of the Toronto Star, but I don’t know if I am willing to go that far yet. I hope I don’t get myself in too much trouble by being a little more vocal about things. Thanks for all your comments, Michael.

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