It’ll cost $18 million a year, for thirty years to get back alleys upgraded to where they should be. That’s according to a new report heading to next week’s transportation committee.
Coun. Andrew Knack knows how bad it can be in his ward one, invoking the “Old MacDonald” clause for their condition. “It’s not just your pot hole here, and a pot hole there,” Knack said. “It’s roadways that have sunk over time and create areas where water pools and it doesn’t even get to the drainage. It’s not pleasant whether you’re walking, biking or even driving over those.”
“Currently, the City’s alley system is composed of approximately 1,107 kilometres of paved and 68 kilometers of gravel alleys for a total of 1175 kilometers,” the report said. “Of this, two-thirds of the paved alleys are past their optimal renewal point with a significant portion requiring complete reconstruction (69 percent that are graded as D and F condition). With the majority of the back lanes being 30 – 40 years in age, it is not a stretch to say that alleys have significantly outperformed their design life span.”
“It’s not great. It’s actually quite poor across the board,” Knack agreed. “So it was no surprise that it’s something that comes up from people. This stems back to the fact that our standard for back alleys has always been packed gravel.”
The report suggests either all tax payers contribute, or those directly impacted would pay. Knack prefers something along a 50-50 split. “To me I think it would make a lot of sense to go the half-half model to say the entire city is going to cover half the cost through property taxes and the other half might come through the residents ourselves.” His home has a back alley that he said is in terrible shape.
The plan calls for the work to stretch over 30 Years (2019-2049) eventually getting up to 28 kms in 2022 after beginning with 7 kms and ramping up.
“They’re not being neglected anymore,” Knack said. “It’s been far too long since we’ve had a plan for these.”
you can read the report here by clicking on item 6.3