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Sidewalk cracks raise concerns for Duncan business owner

Marsha Todd said they are a tripping hazard
Marsha Todd, the owner of Unique Home Health Care at 121 Station St., says the subsided sidewalk in front of her business is a tripping hazard for pedestrians. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Marsha Todd wants to know when the City of Duncan intends to fix the sidewalk in front of her business.

Todd owns Unique Home Health Care, located at 121 Station St. in downtown Duncan, and spends some time on nice days sitting in a chair in front of the shop talking to customers and people passing by.

She said she recently noticed some subsiding on the sidewalk that has created ridges that have become a tripping hazard for pedestrians.

The ridges are only about one inch high at their highest point, but Todd said the fact they are not large means most pedestrians don’t notice them and she sees people trip over them every day.

“One old lady with a cane tripped and almost fell, but I was in my chair and caught her before she hurt herself,” she said.

“I’ve been here for 22 years and this problem is just getting worse.”


Todd said she called the City of Duncan and explained the problem and was pleased when a work crew showed up the next day and painted the ridges green.

“I thought that was the first step in the repair process, but two weeks went by and nothing further was done,” she said.

“I called the city again and was told that painting the ridges to make pedestrians aware of them was all that was planned to be done. The man I talked to said the city doesn’t fix subsiding sidewalks. This is no way to maintain the city’s infrastructure, and the city has not been helpful at all.”

Brian Murphy, Duncan’s director of public works and engineering, said city workers have been on site and the measurements for the sidewalk cracks do not meet the criteria for any immediate attention. “These cracks have been marked with paint for added safety and may be further addressed when resources permit,” he said.

Paige MacWilliam, the city’s director of corporate services, said that according to the city’s Inspections & Maintenance of Sidewalks & Roadways Policy, the sidewalk cracks have been classified as “No. 2 Trip”, which is a height differential between sections of sidewalk or roadway between one-half inch and one inch, and have been placed on a list for specific follow-up at the next scheduled inspection.

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Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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