First Ave residents say trail needed on Tile Yard Rd



Sean Pachett wants to make sure high school students walking to LCCVI are safe.
The Petrolia man is part of a group heading to council Monday asking it to look at ways to provide a walking trail along Tile Yard Road/Glenview Line.
There are sidewalks leading from the high school at the top of Glenview and Dufferin St. but they stop at the base of the hill which leads up to the First Ave. Subdivision. That’s where Pachett lives. It’s the route is daughter walks each morning – so far, without incident.
But Pachett says it is not safe particularly in the winter when a one-foot concrete strip on the bridge and the ditches are covered in snow. Pachett says his daughter walks through the area even though she “definitely doesn’t like it” and he would rather there was a “safer option.”
Pachett’s group decided to approach council about the issue after they realized how many students will be using the route in the next few years.
“We did an informal neighborhood survey and found over 70 kids will soon be going to LCCVI. That started catching our attention,” says Pachett. “That’s a significant number of kids walking down there. So we decided, let’s get council on this now.”
The issue has been raised in the past with administrators saying a solution would be costly, particularly considering would be no easy solution to giving pedestrians access at the bridge. Pachett says there are options, including attaching a pedestrian bridge to the current structure. He added staff has suggested the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority might raise concerns since it would have to be built over the water course. “Let’s go sit down with them and talk with them and find out,” he says. “We get that putting an addition to the bridge is costly, but let’s investigate and find out how much it would be.”
At the minimum, the group suggests council improve signage in the area, alerting drivers to the students using the bridge.
The last time the issue was raised, the town produced a map showing walking down First Ave. to Petrolia Line and then to the high school was not any longer than taking Tile Yard Road. Pachett says while that may have been true for the person who brought the matter to council then, that’s not the case for everyone, adding students will always take the shortest route. “If it takes a half hour to go Tile Yard and 45 minutes to go the other way, they’re going to chose the half hour…it’s the most direct route.”
First Ave. does not have sidewalks either, but Pachett says that’s “a mild inconvenience…When you get to Tile Yard Road, it becomes downright dangerous.” The group will be at Petrolia council