Sloped Sidewalks In Downtown Duncan Present Challenges For Seniors And People With Disabilities

As I have campaigned door to door around Duncan, voters have told me about a number of issues I was completely unaware of.

One such issue has been brought to my attention by a number of seniors and by several people who use wheelchairs. This particular issue involves the difficulties and potential safety issues posed to seniors and those with disabilities by several sidewalks in downtown Duncan which have a pronounced slope toward the curb and road.  The sidewalks most often mentioned as examples of this are on Jubilee Street between Government Street and Ingram Street.

The photo below shows a senior whom I asked about this problem. He told me the slope on the Jubilee Street sidewalk between Government Street and Kenneth Street was definitely noticeable and presented very real problems for people like himself who use canes to walk. He agreed to demonstrate the problem; in the photo below note how his right foot has a pronounced downward angle sloping toward the curb.

Sloped sidewalk on the west side of Jubilee Street in downtown Duncan. Note the downward sloping angle of this senior's right foot. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
Sloped sidewalk on the west side of Jubilee Street in downtown Duncan. Note the downward sloping angle of this senior’s right foot. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)

I have to admit that as an able bodied person I have never noticed this problem before. I often walk my dogs along this section of Jubilee Street and have never noticed the sloping sidewalks but they are very real problems for seniors who are unsteady on their feet or people with mobility issues.

Here are some other examples of sloping sidewalks on Jubilee Street.

Sloped sidewalk on the east side of Jubilee Street in downtown Duncan. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
Sloped sidewalk on the east side of Jubilee Street in downtown Duncan. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
Sloped sidewalk on the west side of Jubilee Street, between Kenneth Street and Ingram Street, in downtown Duncan. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
Sloped sidewalk on the west side of Jubilee Street, between Kenneth Street and Ingram Street, in downtown Duncan. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
Sloped sidewalk on the west side of Jubilee Street near Duncan United Church, between Kenneth Street and Ingram Street, in downtown Duncan. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
Sloped sidewalk on the west side of Jubilee Street near Duncan United Church, between Kenneth Street and Ingram Street, in downtown Duncan. (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)

Jubilee Street is used by many seniors. There is an apartment building catering to seniors at the corner of Jubilee Street and Kenneth Street. There are also two seniors’ residences, Wedgwood and Sherwood, a few blocks east on the opposite side of Government Street, and for Wedgwood and Sherwood residents the first pedestrian controlled crosswalk across Government Street into downtown Duncan is at Jubilee Street and these sloped sidewalks begin immediately after the Government Street crosswalk.

The pedestrian controlled crosswalk across Government Street at Jubilee Street. This is the primary crosswalk into downtown Duncan for the seniors residences at Sherwood House and Wedgwood House, visible in center of this photo (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)
The pedestrian controlled crosswalk across Government Street at Jubilee Street. This is the primary crosswalk into downtown Duncan for the seniors residences at Sherwood House and Wedgwood House, visible in center of this photo (photo by DuncanTaxpayers.ca)

With the large number of seniors residing in Duncan, as well as for the disabled residents of Duncan, this is definitely a problem the new Duncan Council should be looking at.

Mark Anderson – 2 October 2018

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