Sidewalks are a very important part of our municipal infrastructure and must be safe, accessible, and connected. Sidewalk concerns are not new to me at all, and now during campaigning I am hearing even more feedback.
Residents have legitimate sidewalk concerns, and I would always encourage sidewalk users to report unsafe, inaccessible, or disconnected conditions to the Town immediately. I encourage you to engage with Council if you have suggestions or ideas for improvements. Feedback is important and a necessary part the continuous improvement process.
I am also a parent who uses sidewalks frequently. For many years, when my son was small, I pushed a stroller around Aurora almost every day. I would visit many new places each week, and I know how difficult it can be when there are sidewalk continuity issues, eventually trickling down to inaccessibility and unsafe conditions.
Back in the day when I was pushing a stroller, I highlighted the need for a sidewalk to the Town, on the east side of Earl Stewart Drive, near the Superstore. With the addition of a new subdivision, more parents were using sidewalks in that area. It should be noted that a lack of connectivity will eventually create unsafe and inaccessible conditions. The Town finally constructed a sidewalk adjacent to the store, but it took me over two years of persistent follow-up and pushing for a ‘when’ date. My concerns were addressed effectively by the accessibility department but were delayed because of budget constraints.
What’s next? Moving forward I’d like to understand more about some of the challenges experienced by seniors or ‘people with diverse abilities’, and most definitely I will take on Theresa Saveall McGuire’s challenge: “Anna Lozyk Romeo if you become our next mayor, I challenge you to take a ride around town in my wheelchair (especially up Wellington West to Yonge St South side). Then you will have more of an idea of what needs to be fixed. Sometimes you don’t see issues unless you are in a chair. I didn’t until I got mine!“
How can you get involved? Apply for the Aurora Accessibility Advisory Committee. If you don’t get in, you can always delegate your ideas or issues to the committee or even Council.