Rerouted walk­way to be part of Green War­bler pro­ject, coun­cil de­cides

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - STEVE KANNON

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.”

[SUB­MIT­TED]

Sketch of the pro­posed re­work­ing of the Green War­bler end of path­way link to Mock­ing­bird Drive.

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