Editorial: Connecting the community

Building and maintaining connections within any community is important. In the rural parts of the community, that means roads. South Dundas has a good network of roads, and they are mostly in good repair. In the more urban parts of the community, sidewalks are also important. Yet in this community, we lack some of of those sidewalk connections: these we do have, are not in the best shape.

In Morrisburg, there is a hodgepodge network of sidewalks and pathways. Many residential streets lack sidewalks including main arterial routes. Schools and parks lack many of the connections required in high-density residential areas. On some streets, like Fifth Street West, many must walk on a high traffic road to get to school or to go to the Morrisburg Village Plaza. In the plaza, heaving sidewalks are a major safety concern.

But this isn’t just an issue in Morrisburg. In Williamsburg, crumbling and narrow sidewalks, coupled with the lack of any signaled crosswalk across County Roads 31 or 18, are a safety hazard. The Schell Street subdivision, where many younger families live, has no sidewalk connection to the rest of that village. In Iroquois, sidewalk infrastructure is well planned in the core of the village, but subdivision development on the west and east ends lack these connections as well.

Throughout South Dundas, much of the existing sidewalk infrastructure is in need of repair. During the recent budget deliberations, $150,000 was set aside to address some of the needs this year. That money is not nearly enough, and will not go far.

In 2016, a study was commissioned by the South Dundas council of the day in which MMM Group recommended several fixes and modifications to existing sidewalks. Some of those have been implemented but those recommendations do not take into account new sidewalk needs for our community.

Moving forward, South Dundas is in for some significant growth in the village areas. A large subdivision on the west end of Morrisburg has draft approval from the County. That subdivision will add about 200 more housing units to the community and that many more new residents to South Dundas. Filling in the gaps and ensuring the main connections within each of our villages must be done to ensure a safe, active, and healthy community.

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