Kitchener approves buying land for crossing over LRT tracks near Fairview Mall

Kitchener has approved in principle to buy land to create a crossing over the LRT tracks near Fairview Park Mall.

City staff now have to figure out how to pay for the crossing

For a few months, residents used this gap in the fence to cross the LRT tracks to access services on Fairway Road. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Kitchener council approved in principle buying land that would allow the city and region to create a pedestrian crossing over the LRT tracks near Fairview Mall.

The decision was made during Monday night's council meeting. No funding has been allocated yet, but city staff will bring a report looking at possible immediate funding options to a Sept. 10 committee meeting.

Residents in the Traynor/Vanier neighbourhood were cut off from quick trips to the mall and other stores along Fairway Road in 2016 when a fence along the LRT tracks went up.

In 2017, Paul Metzger, the founder of the K-W Tenant Group that represents people who live in the buildings near the Fairview Park Mall, said it can take people between 30 and 45 minutes to walk the length of the fence to get to where they want to go.

"A big inconvenience," he said.

Residents have been calling on the city and region to do something to improve walkability of the area. Someone has even gone so far as to cut a hole in the chain link fence.

The region is currently developing a design for the crossing.

Residents who live on Vanier Drive and Traynor Drive say they're cut off from Fairway Road thanks to LRT construction. (Google Maps)