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Safer Woodlawn is down the road

City hall is looking at the possibility of building a “multi-use trail” for both cyclists and pedestrians along Woodlawn Road West, although funding is still up in the air.

City engineer Richard Henry told a city council budget meeting last month that in his professional opinion, it’s currently “not safe” for either cyclists or pedestrians to travel along Woodlawn Road West.

Council approved money a year ago in the city’s 2012 budget for design work related to building sidewalks along Woodlawn from Nicklin to Elmira roads. Although there’s no money yet allotted in the city’s 10-year capital forecast for this sort of construction along Woodlawn, that could change.

When it passed the city’s 2013 budget, council agreed to take a closer look at the city’s spending on “active transportation,” which includes walking and cycling. And the hazardous situation for people trying to cycle or walk along Woodlawn Road West was a focus for considerable debate at the Dec. 5 budget meeting. A resolution passed by council at that meeting could lead staff to include more money for active transportation in the city’s 2014 capital budget.

In its design review for Woodlawn, the city’s engineering department is “considering whether to incorporate a multi-use trail that would accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians along the Woodlawn Road West corridor,” said Don Kudo, the city’s manager of infrastructure planning, design and construction. He made the comment in an email sent in response to a Tribune query.

The cost of building a continuous sidewalk network from Elmira to Nicklin has been estimated by the city at $1.2 million, and staff have suggested the work could be done over a 10-year period at $120,000 per year.

Kudo also provided the Tribune with a list of capital projects that the engineering department expects to undertake in 2013 as part of the $51.5-million capital budget approved by council earlier this month.

Road construction projects being eyed for 2013 are (in no particular order):

• Victoria Road South: Macalister to Stone – the second stage of Victoria Road South construction to complete the section between Stone and Arkell

• Speedvale Avenue East: Stevenson to Victoria – remaining surface work and restoration

• Alice Street: Sackville to Arthur

• Laird Road: Southgate to Clair

• Wellington Street: Gordon to Bristol – possible 2013 construction related to development at 40 Wellington St.

• Silvercreek Parkway: Paisley to Waterloo  – possible 2013 work related to development of the former Lafarge lands.

Construction and design/study work includes:

• Howitt Creek stormwater facility – located on former Lafarge quarry lands, which are slated for commercial and other development

• York Road trunk sanitary sewer and Paisley/Clythe feedermain – possible 2013 construction in Silvercreek Park and Royal City Park

• Stone Road East: Victoria to Evergreen – 2013 design work

• Stevenson Street: Elizabeth to Eramosa – 2013 design work

• Green Meadows stormwater facility – 2013 environmental assessment and design work

• Niska Road and bridge replacement: Ptarmigan to the city’s western limit – 2013 environmental assessment and design work

• Speedvale Avenue East and bridge replacement: Stevenson to Woolwich – 2013 environmental assessment and design work.

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