Sidewalks needed near Trillium Court for seniors’ safety, says accessibility committee


By Barb McKay


Kincardine has come a long way in terms of accessibility, but there is still work to be done, says Ruth Mahood.


The chair of Kincardine’s accessibility advisory committee attended last Wednesday’s council meeting to provide an update on what measures have been taken recently to improve accessibility in the community and also present a wish list of project that should be undertaken.


“I’m pleased to see that in the three years since I joined the committee I’ve seen a difference,” Mahood said. “People have greater accessibility and that’s a good feeling.”


That being said, she noted, there are gaps that need to be filled. The area around Trillium Court is of particular concern where there are no sidewalks and seniors are forced to drive their scooters or use walkers along the side of the road to get to the Zehrs plaza.


Councillor Maureen Couture said she’s witnessed a number of seniors trying to navigate the gravel shoulder to reach the grocery store.


“I would heartedly agree with the need for a sidewalk at Trillium Court,” she said.


Roger Cook, of Saugeen Mobility and Regional Transit (SMART), a mobility transit organization that Kincardine belongs to, was in attendance to provide council with an update on the service and said Trillium Court residents don’t need to use roadsides to get where they’re going.


“Seniors at Trillium are eligible for this service; they shouldn’t feel like they need to walk,” he said.

Mahood said the pedestrian cross walk on Durham Street in front of the Davidson Centre is another problem. She said the crossing just isn’t safe enough.


“We’ve had some near misses reported to us,” she said.


Also on the committee’s wish list are improvements at the Tiverton library to increase accessibility. Mahood pointed out that shelves are too high and close together for individuals who use wheelchairs and scooters and the washroom facilities are not accessible.


Deputy mayor Anne Eadie noted that before the municipality can commit to improvements at the Tiverton library, it needs to deal with upgrades to the Whitney Crawford Community Centre, which will be discussed at a special council meeting in the near future.


Mahood said the committee understands financial constraints and often encourages accessibility improvements when building upgrades are scheduled. At some point, making buildings completely accessible may be mandatory, she added.


“Down the road we can see accessibility being a legislated thing.”