Regina sidewalk upgrades cancelled after residents sign petitions

The citizens have spoken, and now the City of Regina is cancelling eight sidewalk, curb and gutter projects.

The citizens have spoken, and now the City of Regina is cancelling eight sidewalk, curb and gutter projects.

The eight projects were among 15 high priority local improvements scheduled to begin this year.

But as a result of residents who objected to the work signing petitions, only seven of those projects will go ahead.

The city says five projects were cancelled because the petitions had enough signatures and were valid.

One petition just missed qualifying, but the city allowed it on a technicality.

Two more projects can't go ahead because they depended on the other projects proceeding.

The city doesn't say why the residents want the projects cancelled, but several residents have told CBC News that cost was the big factor. 

Many of them are facing a bill of between $4,000 and $10,000 to get the work done.

Homeowner Bob Gawley told CBC News he'd like to get his section of the McKee Crescent sidewalk fixed, but doesn't want to pay $7,000 for it.

The city allows people to pay off the bills over 10 years, but it charges interest (currently 6.57 per cent).

Because the curb, gutter and sidewalk projects are being cancelled for 2014, the accompanying road construction projects are being cancelled, too. They may not be cancelled permanently: the city says it will take another look in two or three years.

The road projects are paid for out of city funds, rather than partially funded by local residents. 

The decision to cancel the eight projects will need final approval from Regina City Council.

Here are the eight projects being cancelled: 

  • Grant Drive (from west leg of Grant Road to east leg of Grant Road both sides): sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement. 
  • Langley Street (from Jubilee Avenue to Martin Street, south and east side): sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement.
  • Langley Street (from Jubilee Avenue to Martin Street, north and west side): curb and gutter replacement.
  • Chisholm Road (from Shannon Road to Grant Drive, both sides): sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement.
  • McKee Crescent (west leg, from Shannon Road to Chisholm Road, south and east side):  sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement.
  • McKee Crescent (west leg from Shannon Road to Chisholm Road, west and north side): curb and gutter replacement.   
  • Campbell Street (from 4th Avenue to Mikkelson Drive, both sides): sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement.
  • Assiniboine Avenue (from Argyle Road to Rae Street, both sides): sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement.

Adam Home, Regina's director of roadways and transportation service, told CBC News that the 2014 list of proposed works was rather long, compared to previous years.

"It was one of our larger programs this year," Home said. According to Home, from 2006 to 2013 the city planned 47 projects. Over that time, only 8 were voted down by residents.

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