OPINION: Use red zone land for Richmond Hill walkway

NEW USE: Red zone land alongside Richmond Hill Rd should be turned into a walkway, says a resident.

Richmond Hill resident Stuart Grant believes a walkway on red zone land beside Richmond Hill Rd would be the best way to improve pedestrian safety

The city council is looking at the possibility of reducing the speed limit on Richmond Hill Rd.

This is in an effort to make it safer for pedestrians, because there is a significant proportion of the road that does not have footpaths. The reasons cited for not addressing the footpath issue are “lack of space and funding.’’

What a lot of the residents of Richmond Hill Rd would like to be considered, is the construction of a walkway in the red zone land on the left side of the road above the second hairpin. This would go a long way towards alleviating most of the dangers that pedestrians face on the road.

There is, and will continue to be, significant development on the upper hill area that used to be occupied by the golf course.

Nothing has been done to accommodate the large increase in traffic nor to repair the earthquake damage that was inflicted on the road. There is also unsightly temporary fencing between the road and the red zone

Apart from local residents, the walkway could also provide access to the World War 2 gun emplacements at the top of Richmond Hill. This could well become a significant attraction and bring a lot more people into the area.

While I doubt that the majority of the residents would oppose lowering the speed limit, it will not significantly address the safety issue on the road. The poor lighting makes for an even more dangerous situation for pedestrians during the winter months.

I believe that the city council should take a long-term perspective on this matter and make the necessary financial investment, as they have done with the excellent earthquake repair job on Clifton Hill Rd.