Where Does Pembroke Need Sidewalks?

Pembroke is going to take a closer look at streets that don’t have sidewalks.

At City Council on Tuesday, a resident of Blakely Crescent in the West End, Geoff Quast, said his street is too unsafe without them.

Quast says the growth of residential, commercial and school traffic in the area just off Pembroke Street West across from Jeanne-Lajoie school, has created many new safety concerns for people walking along his street.

"I've been at that property since 1974, and I'm actually really worried about somebody getting killed, hit by a vehicle, especially a commercial vehicle", Quast told Star 96.7.

Quast was visited by members of City Council for a first-hand look at the concerns and said he was reassured to see the topic become a priortity at the council table.

"I got a good feeling tonight", Quast said of Council's response.

Council assured him his request would be weighed seriously, and that set off a wider discussion about streets that don't have sidewalks.

Councillor Patricia Lafreniere suggested a large section Everett Street which does not have a sidewalk is also a major concern.

But all agreed that those may not be the only two streets where the need is pressing.

In the end, council asked city staff to take a look at all of the streets where sidewalks should be a priority, and to come up with supporting data, to help guide council in its budget decisions this year and in the next few years.

Lafreniere admits new sidewalks won't happen everywhere, and they won't happen overnight, but says is timely to take a fresh look at this right before budget time.

“We want to assess the traffic, or the dangers, to the public .. and say, okay, this is our list of priorities when it comes to sidewalks so we can start moving that needle", Lafreniere told Star 96.7.

"I'm happy to say we're going to be looking at sidewalks.  That being said, not everybody in the city is going to be getting one.  But .. safey first", she added.

Council agreed that such projects are an important part of budget discussions.

"So maybe some of them can start this year, maybe next year, and then progress”, Lafreniere said.

"When you're looking at a street that is heavily travelled by either school buses, or commercial vehicles, and they have businesses, and it's a narrow street .. well, then you have to look at safety".

Council will start to discuss all of the projects they hope to approve in this year’s budget in a few weeks.