The area around Ripple Rock Elementary will be getting safer for pedestrians next year.
At least, that was council’s hope as they approved a sidewalk on Cheviot Road in next year’s budget and work plan earlier this month during financial planning deliberations.
Council approved a $250,000 budget next year to install a sidewalk on Cheviot – which will run from Pedersen Road right up to Ripple Rock school, according to the map provided by staff – as part of its ongoing sidewalk infill program.
That should come as good news to the students of Ripple Rock, especially those in Grade 4/5 teacher Jenna Wiese’s class last year, who wrote to council in July asking for safety and transit improvements, citing the lack of sidewalks and crosswalks in the area.
The only question brought forward during the deliberations in regard to that work was when it would happen.
“Is that proposed to take place during the summer when the kids won’t be out walking to school?” asked Coun. Ron Kerr.
Drew Hadfield, the city’s director of operations, says the “when” of the project hasn’t been determined.
“We’ll make endeavors to have as little impact on the school as possible,” Hadfield says. “It really depends on the work plan of the roads department, but it will be carefully considered.”
Other Roads Department projects on the budget for next year – outside the huge one happening on the Old Island Highway, of course – include the continuing installation of bus shelters, parking lot improvements at Rotary Beach, a pedestrian signal crossing at the Dogwood and Alder Street intersection, and the injection of $30,000 into the city’s ongoing “cycling infrastructure,” program, which creates new cycling lanes, re-paints existing ones and adds wayfinding signage and other infrastructure for cyclists.