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New pedestrian walkway adjacent to 43 Street South to be widened

‚ÄčThe new pedestrian walkway adjacent to 43 Street South from 33 Avenue to 40 Avenue will be widened to the City's standard 1.5-metre sidewalk width.

In order to help create access for students and area residents to the new Dr. Robert Plaxton Elementary School, a temporary pedestrian connectivity needed to be installed. Plans are in place for it to be widened at the next school break. The project is anticipated to take place from October 10-17, weather permitting.

Since opening late last month, there had been some concerns from nearby residents regarding the width of the new walkway.

"The temporary pedestrian facility on 43 Street South was intended to ensure a safe route for the residents and students in Southgate traveling to the new school," says Richard Brummund, Road Infrastructure Manager. "We needed to make sure we had a facility in place before school started. The road is narrow but acceptable and helps slow traffic down. We believe the current roadway configuration is safe, is in compliance with Transportation Association of Canada guidelines and meets the user needs."

A number of configurations for the roadway/sidewalk cross section were reviewed, including creating a pathway in the ditch, to widening on one side, to widening on both sides. Although these options would provide a wider sidewalk and lanes, they would cost significantly more money due to the additional work to address drainage issues, unsafe slopes and utility relocations.

Based on the recommendation of our consulting engineer, the existing road surface is currently being used to provide a pedestrian walkway along the existing 43rd Street South. The recommended cross section includes six metres of driving lanes (two three-metre lanes) for vehicles, a half-metre concrete barrier curb with delineators to protect the pedestrian facility, as well as a 1.2-metre to 1.5-metre wide pedestrian facility. 

The sidewalk and lane widths are in compliance with the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) guidelines. We have also reduced the speed limit and installed painted centre line and edge lines to enhance safety on this stretch of the road. Wider loads (vehicles wider than 2.6 metres) need special permits and traffic accommodations on all city roads.