Nearly every time Cynthia Hamilton and Brian McKay go to the Carvolth Exchange, they witness the same dangerous practice — pedestrians (often children) hugging the shoulder of 86 Avenue as they make their way to the transit loop, with cars dodging past them. People are forced to walk along the edge of the road because the sidewalks have yet to be completed.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said McKay, who is the secretary of the Willoughby Residents Association (WRA).
“It’s not walkable, where are the pedestrians supposed to go?” added Hamilton, his wife and president of the WRA.
The couple, on behalf of the WRA, are now calling on the Township to complete the missing sidewalks near the Carvolth Exchange, before someone gets hurt.
Currently, there is a patchwork of sidewalks that have been built with development, but large gaps have been left between the housing projects.
“We would like the Township to build them now, and charge the developers later,” Hamilton said.
The Carvolth Exchange is not the only area lacking in connectivity.
In a delegation to council on Feb. 5, the couple outlined several other streets where the sidewalks drift off to nowhere.
One of the most urgent areas is at 80 Avenue and 207 Street, as it is near shopping at Willoughby Town Centre, as well as Willoughby Elementary School, Hamilton said.
“(The) sidewalks just end, they just go nowhere,” she told council.
Other areas of concern, include: 202B Street between 68A and 70A Avenues; 82 Avenue west of 208 Street; and 198A Street at 70 Avenue.
The couple noted that MLS has given Willoughby a walkability score of only 18, compared to Walnut Grove, which has a score of 66.
“We understand with growth there are bound to be growing pains,” Hamilton told council.
“It was stated recently by staff in a meeting of council that Willoughby is only built out to approximately 38 per cent. This would indicate that the growing pains are here to stay in Willoughby for a long time.”