At last week’s infrastructure and community development committee meeting, councillors voted (4-3) not to adopt the new crossover policy, with councillors Joe Ferrante, David Lagan, David Michael and Keith Sargent voting against it.
The issue revolves around paths, with the City currently budgeting over $2 million for new paths throughout the City to link up key path networks and improve access for pedestrians, in line with the City’s path strategy.
Under the proposed policy, paths are intended to be continuous down the street, which means that two-metre sections of existing driveways, such as Scarborough resident Kevin Kenneally’s brick driveway, would be ripped up and replaced with pre-mixed grey concrete.
Cr Stephanie Proud argued that making paths continuous would protect pedestrians, an argument Mr Kenneally dismissed when he gave a deputation earlier in the night.
He said there had not been a single report of a pedestrian tripping when walking from a path onto a driveway, and that it would detract from the amenity of streets.
‘It’s not about compensation or anything like that, it’s simply that there is no necessity to remove it,’ he said after the meeting
‘The path can run up to the edge of the brick crossover, as it does in most other parts of the City, where there has been no problems reported to council at any time.
‘People walk up my verge strip now and they seem to have no problem walking over the crossover.
‘I like the visual aspect of the driveway, and it seems like a waste of council’s money to remove my property and replace it with grey concrete when there’s a perfectly good surface already there.’
During the meeting, Cr Michael said the policy would result in ‘an absolute compliance nightmare’, while Cr Bill Stewart, who is not a member of the committee, said it would result in a ‘battlefront on local streets’.
Although the new policy was defeated at committee, a decision on adoption of the policy will be made at the full meeting of council on April 9.