Community groups want Sid Buckwold Bridge walkway improved

Walking Saskatoon and the Buena Vista Community Association are hoping the city will make improvements to the Sid Buckwold Bridge walkway while it undergoes scheduled repairs next year.

Walking Saskatoon, Buena Vista Community Association want to see it widened

Walking Saskatoon and the Buena Vista Community Association want to see changes made to the Sid Buckwold Bridge walkway. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

Once the Remai Modern opens, the Sid Buckwold Bridge walkway will deliver pedestrian traffic right to its front door.

But Cam McMillan thinks the direct route across Saskatoon's river to the art gallery is far from artful.

"It's just really unnerving having such a low barrier, and such a narrow walkway when you have large trucks, fast moving cars and buses going right past you," said McMillan, speaking for Walking Saskatoon during an interview with CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

The group, along with the Buena Vista Community Association, are asking the city to make improvements to the walkway during planned renovations.

For McMillan, the walkway's role as a key pedestrian route for nearby neighbourhoods makes it worthy of attention.

"It's a direct route to [what's] really the heart of this city, the river, the Meewasin Trail, River Landing, the museum, as well as all the nightlife," he said.

"For a lot of people who live on the other side of the river, it's very restrictive to make that trip."

Needs widening

McMillan said the groups would like to see the 1.5-metre sidewalk widened and adjustments made to the barrier along the route.

"[The current width] seems like plenty just for your average pedestrian going across. But it becomes very difficult if you have someone with a [baby] carriage, someone with a wheelchair or anything that takes up a bit more space," said McMillan.

While he said a rough estimate pegs the cost for the project at over a million dollars, he said making the improvements while construction is already underway would save money in the long run.

Groups pitch idea

The groups made their pitch on Monday to the city's Standing Policy Committee on Transportation.

The committee members unanimously agreed the idea is worth looking into.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning