Many residents were happy to see the start of a mini-makeover in Bradford's downtown core last week, when sidewalk repairs began on Holland Street West.
While Bond Head resident Dave Morton is glad to see the town taking action to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the downtown core, he is left wondering why, after years of complaints and letters to council, the rough-looking sidewalks in Bond Head have never been replaced.
In a letter to Mayor Rob Keffer and Coun. Ron Orr earlier this week, he attached three photos of the dilapidated sidewalks in Bond Head, and asked why they were not included in the town's Road Safety and AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) audit, which was presented at the May 19 council meeting.
The audit had staff look at a variety of safety-related issues that included street lighting, tactile plates at intersections, speed limits in areas of pedestrian activity, pedestrian connections and walkways, cycling routes, and signage, but did not include the hamlet of Bond Head in their report.
"Unfortunately, the audit does not appear to include Bond Head," said Morton.
"These BH (Bond Head) sidewalks are unsafe for pedestrians! Forget anyone using a wheelchair trying to use them," read part of Morton's letter to council this week.
In addition to the decrepit sidewalks, he noted that the crossing at the intersection of Highway 27 and County Road 88 has push buttons installed for pedestrians but claimed the "Walk"signal does not work, adding that the high rates of speed which cars travel in the area make it unsafe to walk, or even ride a bike.
"Yes, we have signage: a pylon has been placed where the sidewalk is crumbling, so that people don’t trip over the hole. And there’s a reflector placed on the lawn so that everyone is aware of another hole and the sunken sidewalk as it passes over the culvert," he said.
In August 2019, a group of five Bond Head residents came together to form 'The Bond Head 5' to address concerns of the hamlet to council. Sidewalks were listed as one of the priority items for the town, but nothing has been done to address the issue to date, noted Morton.
"What does Bond Head need to do get a safety audit done of our sidewalks? The results of such an audit are obvious to anyone," said Morton. "I am very upset at what appears to be council’s lack of concern for the safety of those using the sidewalks in Bond Head."
In a response to the e-mail, Mayor Rob Keffer acknowledged the Bond Head sidewalks are in "tough shape" but assured that Bond Head would be part of the audit and the report received at the council meeting was just an update on what has been done and what still needs to be done.
"We will need to get a report on how much the sidewalk repairs will cost," he said. He added that Joe Coleman, Manager of Transportation will be visiting the site on Thursday to investigate the walk signal issue at the intersection of Highway 27 and County Road 88.
"We have been set back with the COVID-19 restrictions, but we will do the best we can with the Transportation Master Plan."