There’ll be no second sidewalk installed on Elmira Green Warbler Crescent, but one homeowner’s property will be ripped up nonetheless as the township plans to put a jog in a pathway that leads to Mockingbird Drive.
Woolwich will push ahead with a realignment of the walkway, rerouting it across the property at 14 Green Warbler Cres. so that it’s no longer in line with the intersection of Blue Heron Court.
The plan was opposed by both Elmira councillors, however, with Coun. Patrick Merlihan calling it a waste of time and money.
“If anybody in this room thinks this will work, then vote for it,” he argued as council met last week, noting putting a jog into it won’t alter how people use the pathway. “It’s not going to work. Don’t make a mistake here.”
His reservations were shared by Coun. Scott Hahn. Ironically, it was his mention of liability concerns that swayed fellow councillors during a Mar. 21 discussion about the walkway, though he changed course at last week’s vote.
“It’s a low-risk road,” he acknowledged, calling for the township not to spend any money on the project.
The work is expected to cost about $2,500 to $3,000.
While recognizing what the township is looking to accomplish, homeowner Anton Heimpel says the changes are unlikely to be effective.
“I understand what they’re trying to do,” he said in an interview this week. “I don’t think it’s going to do what they think it will.”
Heimpel noted the pathway is lightly used, with most pedestrians or cyclists coming or going to the opposite side of the planned curve in the route.
“People are just going to cut across the corner. They’ll take the path of least resistance – they’re not going to use the walkway,”
As approved, the plan doesn’t include a barrier to force cyclists, in particular, to veer to the left (or right), but there’s a contingency to install one if users continue to go straight through as has been the case for decades without incident.
At the previous meeting, Coun. Larry Shantz favoured the barrier option for safety reasons.
“You don’t want them going straight off the end,” he said of kids on bicycles.
Taking a playful shot at his Ward 1 colleagues, Coun. Mark Bauman opted to press ahead with the project.
“I’m going to support … the stupid thing that will never work.”