ABERFOYLE – A sidewalk is being sought to keep Aberfoyle Public School students safer.
Upper Grand District School Board manager of planning Jennifer Passy and Aberfoyle Public School principal Paul Tribe raised the issue at Puslinch council on Oct. 2.
Passey sought support to extend the sidewalk along the north and east side of Old Brock Road between Brock Road S. and Cockburn St.
“It is our perspective that this sidewalk would be beneficial for a few reasons,” she said, adding a sidewalk would provide a safer walking route.
“A sidewalk would also create a better defined drop off zone for students, parents and a route to the school yard,” Passey said adding, “it is coincidental this is also Walk to School Day, which is celebrated by walking to or walking at schools.”
Mayor James Seeley noted that he, CAO Patrick Moyle and supervisor of public works Mike Fowler visited the site.
“We realize congestion can be overwhelming and hoped for good discussion around the council table to come up with a resolution,” Seeley said.
Councillor Matthew Bulmer “this is just a budgetary item in my mind.”
He asked this item be placed on the 2020 capital budget for consideration.
Councillor Jessica Goyda said the presentation’s timing was good as the township was just starting its budget deliberations.
“I think putting the sidewalk in is the right thing to do,” Goyda said.
If a sidewalk is installed and parents encouraged to park at the community centre, “is there any means for having an adult crossing road at Brock Road?” Goyda said.
Passy said “the board does not provide adult crossing guards or patrols … that responsibility generally lies with the municipality.”
Goyda asked how many homes would be impacted by installing a sidewalk along with whether any trees would need to be removed.
Fowler said there are five homes and the school property.
Councillor John Sepulis noted the conversation fit in with his own proposal to reduce the number of travelled lanes on Brock Road.
Sepulis then asked if the township installs a sidewalk in front of the school, would the board consider a financial contribution for the sidewalk.
Passy said she could take the information back to the board, but did not know whether there were additional funds available at this time. She noted the board would be required to make some improvements to connect to the new sidewalk.
Seeley said he was prepared to contact the impacted residents personally.
Regarding crossing guards, Seeley suggested contacting parents to determine if they’d be willing to volunteer.
“There are options out there,” he said.
Council’s decision was to receive the request and defer the matter to the 2020 budget process.