Independent Delta council candidate Mike Smith says the city has not done a good enough job and must put higher priority on pedestrian safety.
Smith, a North Delta resident, is promising that if he’s elected he will increase budgets for Delta’s sidewalk and neighbourhood traffic management programs.
“This is for all of Delta. There’s so many of our neighbourhoods in Tsawwassen and North Delta and Ladner that need them. Council gives itself golden handshakes but they won’t fund a few more new sidewalks for our kids and seniors,” Smith said in a press release.
According to Smith’s press release, the City of Delta’s annual sidewalk program includes city-funded projects whose locations are selected from a “master sidewalk” list that is ranked by priority, as well as projects paid for by residents. Those lower-priority proposed sidewalks, which may or may not meet the criteria for streets to have a sidewalk, don’t rank high enough to be constructed in the near future.
Smith promised that if elected he’ll fight for the city to increase the number of proposed new sidewalks it deems higher priority, bumping many lower-priority projects up to a higher priority status.
“Sidewalks are becoming more of a priority as our residents of Delta continue to age. But also, as the budget for our school board decreased the transportation and buses, sidewalks are also becoming more imperative as kids are forced to walk to and from school” Smith said. “We don’t want our children walking on unsafe sidewalks and crosswalks.”
Smith also says the neighbourhood traffic management program, which includes crosswalks and traffic calming measures, needs to be beefed up to include more projects annually.
The civic election will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20.