Pushback on Riverdale sidewalk

A mother walks a child down Charles Street on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, the afternoon before council approved sidewalks for this street as well as Surgenor Street and Grant Avenue. Residents on Grant are already pushing back on having a sidewalk on their street. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A month after approving sidewalks for three Riverdale streets, there is already pushback from area residents.

Cornwall city council will receive a 17-signature petition tonight (Monday) from Robert Denis, who claims to represent the residents along Grant Avenue.

In his petition, Denis objects to a sidewalk on the north side of Grant, saying many students are transported by bus and sidewalks aren’t cleared right away in the winter, forcing children to walk in the street anyway. “A very small portion of the population at both schools (St. Anne Catholic School and Viscount Alexander Public School) has to walk to class every day.”

Denis adds that the sidewalk will damage their landscaping and the price of the sidewalks “would counteract” any efforts to trim the budget.

In February, council approved sidewalks for Charles Street, Grant Avenue and Surgenor Street. The three sidewalks will cost $170,100 and are included in this year’s budget.

Council was acting on another petition in November 2017 to add sidewalks in the area around St. Anne Catholic School and to also have a connection to the recreational path on Power Dam Drive.

The sidewalks are part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

The city also put out 628 survey letters to residents. There were 115 responses in support of the sidewalks while 15 were against, a city report states.

Council will receive the petition tonight and will refer it to staff for a report.