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More sidewalks coming for older Delta neighbourhoods

Some older Delta neighbourhoods were developed without proper sidewalks, curbs and gutters
The city is setting additional dollars aside to build more sidewalks.

The City of Delta has finally issued a request for proposal for the construction of a new sidewalk for a neighbourhood, a project that had been initially approved over a year ago.

The North Delta sidewalk project is to take place on Minster Drive from Finlay Drive to Barrymore Drive, and on Finlay Drive from Warwick Road to Minster Drive East.

The work generally consists of new 1.5-metre-wide sidewalk and new LED street lighting, while new trees will be supplied and installed by the city.

Council late last year approved a recommendation from the engineering department to proceed with the sidewalk project, which had already been approved in 2021 as part of the 2022 Capital Plan.

Part of Delta’s Neighbourhood Livability and Safety Improvements Plan, Minster Drive in North Delta was selected for a sidewalk because it has missing gaps in its sidewalk network, as well as being in close proximity to schools and transit on 112th Street.

Following budget approval, a preliminary sidewalk design was developed last spring.

Two petitions were subsequently received, one in April 2022 signed by 14 residents wanting to stop the project until public consultation would be undertaken, while a second was received in May, signed by 62 residents in support, but also expressing neighbourhood traffic concerns.

Several residents at a council meeting last December conveyed concerns, including traffic speeds.

Engineering Director Steven Lan at that December meeting said the sidewalk will be added where an existing curb is already in place and that the road width would not be changed.

He said people are now walking on the road in areas that don’t have sidewalks, which is a safety issue.

His report to council noted the project as originally proposed should be maintained as it provides better pedestrian connectivity and constructability, avoids significant tree removal and reduces the number of street crossing points.

A report two years ago noted a number of older neighbourhoods were developed without proper sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Sidewalks have typically been delivered over the years through new developments and capital projects within the Neighbourhood Road Improvements program.

However, with increased requests for infilling of missing sidewalks, council approved additional funding in the city’s annual capital plan through the Neighbourhood Livability and Safety Improvements Plan.

Mayor George Harvie in his inaugural address last fall said the city will prioritize pedestrian safety through investments in sidewalks and crosswalks for better and safer connectivity.