City sidewalk planning doesn’t make sense

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I am disappointed with the lack of thought that went into the sidewalk planning in this city.

There are many spots within this great city where sidewalks start and end abruptly, forcing people to cross a road unsafely (illegally) or forcing them to double back to a safe place to cross.

I enjoy going for walks with my toddler. However, it becomes a nightmare if we want to walk to places such as Walmart.

We live in the Lacombe area, which is relatively close to the Smart Shopping Centre … as the crow flies. To walk there is a nightmare however. Instead of a 20-minute walk, it can become an hour long.

First you have to walk down Giroux … Okay, easy enough. Then you have to cross the trail. Waiting on a small, cement island with a toddler in tow is not an easy trick, especially when so many people love to run those red lights. Then you have to walk down around behind the hospital because the sidewalk in front of East Side Mario’s ends at the bus stop.

You can’t really cut across the parking lot behind East Side Mario’s and Shoppers because the road is narrow and busy, causing some drivers to stop and throw dirty looks at you. And there is no sidewalk once you get to the other end anyway, causing you to jaywalk across to the other side or double back the way you came.

So, behind the hospital you go, walk down Inglewood/Erin Ridge and then you cross the street. You walk up Erin Ridge Road, wait at the lights, get halfway across the highway, wait at the lights on the other side (where the button for the crosswalk doesn’t work half the time) and then continue to walk behind McDonald’s where you wait for a traffic break so that you can continue on to the other small piece of sidewalk to reach Walmart.

It would be so much easier if someone were to put sidewalks on either side of the trail that led to those lights at the corner of Erin Ridge/Villeneuve Road.

I see people crossing the road (illegally) all the time there, but I personally can’t afford a ticket. I also find it quite difficult to push a stroller through the grass/gravel on the sides of the road.

If the city were to look at the well-worn paths on the sides of the trail, they too would notice that many people walk to that shopping area, whether to work or shop.

Greenhouse emissions are the "talk of the town" so why not make things more accessible so that we don’t need to drive or take a bus?

Putting in sidewalks might cost me more in taxes, but it would cut down on those greenhouse emissions and would take a lot of time off of walking there.

Maybe a sidewalk that leads from Hogan Road to the Trail could be made instead.

Add a set of lights at the corner of Villeneuve Road and Hogan Road and I’m sure that the people that have to wait at Hogan (or the Walmart parking lot) for a clear spot in traffic to pull out would appreciate it too.

If someone wants to help pay for the cement or sidewalk slabs, I’ll gladly build it myself.

T. Schock, St. Albert

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