It’s not the first time Michelle Cornick has spoken out against the joining of Hodder Drive and Spruce Street in Pasadena and from the sounds of things, it won’t be the last.
Cornick has lived on Hodder Drive since 1995 and at Monday night’s Pasadena town council meeting presented a petition on behalf of residents of both streets telling council they don’t want their roads to become one.
Both are dead end roads in the town and as such the water lines on both are also dead ends.
The town is proceeding this year with a $60,000 project to connect those water lines and at the same time the possibility of physically joining the streets also arose.
About 85 to 90 per cent of the residents on both roads signed the petition stating they are opposed to the installation of a bridge/road to integrate the two streets.
The residents have concerns about increased traffic in the area and instead offered council an alternative idea.
“What the taxpayers of those two streets are suggesting is that this council install the culvert necessary and other pipe and or lines, however, in place of the proposed bridge/road we are strongly suggesting a walking trail,” said Cornick.
She said this would be more aesthetically pleasing and less costly than joining the roads.
She also suggested the money could be better spent on things like a skateboard park or equipment for the fire department.
“There are countless other ways this money could be spent,” Cornick said.
In response to Cornick’s presentation, Coun. Barry Walsh, chair of the town’s works and planning committee, said the joining of the roads doesn’t meet the criteria for funding and the project probably won’t proceed this year.
However, he encouraged Cornick and the handful of residents who accompanied her to continue to lobby the councillors on the issue as it will likely arise again.
That’s something Cornick said after the meeting they will do.
“We will definitely lobby councillors and let our voices be heard,” she said.
“We’re agreeing with council. We feel that they do need to install the appropriate water lines and the necessary pipes. The problem is we feel that we don’t need to open up both streets.”
She said concerns over the lack of a sufficient turnaround on Hodder can be easily addressed.
Meanwhile, Walsh said he wasn’t surprised at the resident’s petition, but from the town’s perspective joining the streets would increase efficiencies with snowclearing and traffic flow. He said the $60,000 for the water line work is part of the town’s multi-year capital works program.
But the $160,000 needed for road connection can’t come from there.
“Within the multi-year capital works program we can only fix existing infrastructure,” said Walsh.
If the roads in the town have holes in them then the town can tear them up and put down new asphalt.
But we’re not allowed to use this funding to build new roads. We can’t build a subdivision, we can’t build a new bridge.”