Regency Acres residents frustrated with ongoing road construction issues

·4 min read

Town staff will be working with residents living on several streets within Aurora’s Regency Acres community after the latter expressed frustrations with ongoing – and delayed – road reconstructions.

Last week, area resident Rebecca Beaton made a delegation to Councillors to outline a number of concerns on Holman, Johnson and Browning stemming not only from the road reconstruction projects themselves but the parking tickets incurred by residents to accommodate the work.

“We were advised late on Friday, October 16, that we were not to use our driveways and that effective Monday, October 19, for 72 hours, we were to park on Glass and Child,” Ms. Beaton told Councillors, who were sitting at the Committee level last week. "Will the Town waive all parking tickets for residents who have parked on those streets with regards to this construction?”

Parking tickets weren’t the only concerns Ms. Beaton underlined for local lawmakers.

“At the October 2019 meeting with staff at Town Hall to go over this construction project, residents asked repeatedly whether the grade of the roadway would be changed and they were repeatedly told no,” she continued. “The grading was in fact changed and it is now, for some residents, created a steep slant of 1 – 2 inches at the end of their driveways. Will the Town be making repairs to these driveways so there is a gentle slope from the driveway to the road once this project is finished?

“According to the Town, this project is due to be completed by the end of October and with less than two weeks remaining, the road paving and landscaping… have not been completed and will this project be completed on time? Several residents have notified your legal department of damages as a result of this road reconstruction and have not received an acknowledgement or correspondence regarding their claims. At least one claim goes back to June. What other departments should residents be notifying the Town of such claims?”

Although Council and staff were unable to answer Ms. Beaton’s delegation directly due to the Town’s Procedural Bylaw governing meetings, Council raised her issues with staff during New Business near the end of the session.

“Our bylaw services division can work with engineering to understand the timelines of when the residents were requested to park on Glass Drive and we will not issue parking tickets during that time unless it is with respect to a safety concern, such as parking in front of a fire hydrant or too close to an intersection creating sight line issues,” responded Techa van Leeuwen, Aurora’s Director of Corporate Services. “I do think that we should likely notify the residents on Glass Drive as well as they may see an increase in parking on their road during construction to accommodate that construction. We will work with engineering to resolve that.”

Further issues on parking were raised by Councillor Wendy Gaertner who cited an instance of an area crossing guard looking for a place to park while serving two nearby schools receiving a ticket as well.

Ms. van Leeuwen said this was an issue her department could review.

Councillor Rachel Gilliland also tackled the parking issue, suggesting parking around nearby Confederation Park could be a solution – a solution that Operations Director Al Downey said was doable.

It was left to Town Planner David Waters to address the issues of driveway grading after they were brought to the table by Councillor Gaertner.

“That is a huge grade on the driveways,” she pressed. “That is something that would have been anticipated through engineering before this work was done. It seems to me it would have had to have been. From what Ms. Beaton said, it sounds like it was a surprise to the residents. If we know this is going to be happening beforehand, it would be a good idea to put the residents in the loop.”

Mr. Waters said he appreciated the residents’ perspective.

“I believe engineering held an open house before construction began and did present this information. Until the work is actually done and it is hard to visualize some of the impact to the driveways, but we have identified six that need to be remediated and we’ll do our best to do that,” he said.

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran