Hospital sidewalk needs another look

Darrell Cole
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County to look at alternatives

Cumberland County wants to talk to Amherst about a proposed sidewalk to the hospital.

Traffic moves along Highway 2 from the Town of Amherst to Upper Nappan. The Municipality of Cumberland wants to take another look at a proposed sidewalk from Amherst to the regional hospital.

UPPER NAPPAN – Cumberland County wants to re-examine building a sidewalk from Amherst to the Cumberland Regional Hospital.

County council passed a motion at its first December meeting on Wednesday to talk to officials from the town about other alternatives to building the sidewalk from the town boundary to the hospital.

“There has to be another way,” Coun. John Kellegrew said. “We need to find out how many county residents would use it before we spend that amount of money.”

While the county and the town have agreed to build and cost-share the sidewalk, but a request for proposals issued earlier this year came in much higher than expected and both municipalities have opted to put the project on hold while they consider how to make it more affordable.

Kellegrew suggested the county could purchase a number of taxi fares that county residents could use to travel from Canadian Tire to the hospital, but several councilors doubted many county residents would drive to Canadian Tire, park their vehicles and take a taxi to the hospital.

Deputy Warden Don Smith thought the request for the sidewalk had come from a group of residents in his area. He said Marilyn Thompson has collected names on a petition to have the sidewalk built into Amherst, along with a crosswalk across Highway 2 from Lakeside Manor and a traffic light. Transportation has refused to install a crosswalk, traffic lights or reduce speed in front of the hospital.

Coun. Ernest Gilbert said the fact the proposed project does not include a crosswalk or sidewalk to the senior’s complex changes his mind. He suggested the county re-examine its position.

Before it makes any decisions, Warden Keith Hunter, suggested that county staff meet with their counterparts in Amherst to discuss their options and what alternatives there may be.

The county had budgeted $240,000 for its portion of the work, while Amherst was going to pay to build the sidewalk from Robert Angus Drive to the town boundary. The Cumberland Health Authority planned to pay for the portion of sidewalk on its property.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Cumberland Regional Hospital, Canadian Tire, Cumberland Health Authority

Geographic location: Amherst, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

    December 13, 2013 - 14:46

    If they're thinking about putting a side walk, in they should definitely reconsider the speed limit. It's ridiculous, especially in the winter. I would never want, to have, to walk my children to the hospital. It makes me sick even thinking about it. I haven't heard of anyone being hit, yet. It's quite a surprise. People really need to be cautious of pedestrians.

  • Erika Lutz-Stokes
    December 12, 2013 - 23:59

    February of this past year, after being diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia and being sent home with a prescription for antibiotics at 1 am , I had to make the extremely cold walk home to Spring Street because no taxis run after midnight. Believe you me, there ARE people who would be very thankful for this proposed sidewalk, and I'm one of them. Lots of people visit friends and family at the Centre too, and not all of us have a car. If there isn't going to be a sidewalk put in then a shuttle, especially at night and during the winter months, would be a very good idea. It would have made MY life much better that night!

  • Anita O'Blenis
    December 12, 2013 - 07:57

    This idea of a sidewalk should have been in the building plans of this hospital right from the start. We do not have a car but we walk a lot and cannot take a taxi every time we want to go to the hospital, whether it is for a blood test, an appointment or going to visit someone. Going from the mall parking lot to the parking lot for the hospital is very dangerous walking along the edge of the road. What is it going to take.........someone getting hit by a car and injured really bad or killed before there is a sidewalk put in. This is just my opinion.