I live in a municipality that has been experiencing growth for over a decade now. Lots of high-rise buildings are being constructed in my area as planners to try increase the density of people. Now whether or not these new apartments are worth the money people are paying is another story.

As there is so much construction in my area, it may not be surprising that this leads to a lot of disruption to traffic (both pedestrian and vehicle, area access, and general convenience to existing residents.

If you’ve ever seen a completely new apartment building being constructed, you’ll know that they basically take over that side of the street for an extended period of time. On my street, just about 100m down from where I live, they are building a 40+ storey complex. They dug a giant hole and then they started building up. Somewhere along the timeline, they blocked off the sidewalk on that side of the street. I guess more accurately, the sidewalk basically got obliterated. They tore it up and just fenced off that side of the street.

It feels like it’s been like that for years now and I used Google Street View to find out how long it’s been. The last time I saw that side of the street and it was walkable was back in 2019. It’s been four years now since I was able to walk on that side of the street. The construction isn’t even done yet (though it seems like it is nearing the end), so I don’t anticipate anything changing until well into 2024.

If you stay on my street but walk another block down, you’ll run into another construction project, another new apartment development. Again, the sidewalk has been blocked off and pedestrians haven’t been able to walk down that side of the street for years. I checked Street View again and it was walkable in July of 2019 but the next update in October of 2020 shows it inaccessible. Three years of no access.

Local residents like myself have had to zig-zag across the street as we dodge these construction projects for years now. Will we ever get our sidewalks back?

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