Sault Ste. Marie: Reducing Urban Sprawl and Road Diets


When I was a kid, we used to have a road hockey game going in front of our house almost every day. We played hopscotch and rode our bikes on the street in front of our house.  We were the kings of the road and when cars came along they had to wait until we got out of the way before we “allowed” them to get through. How times have changed. A few weeks ago a group of local residents had to fight to get two sidewalks included in a residential street re-design. They had to petition against the Planning Department’s recommendation of building only one sidewalk as a cost cutting measure.

So what about us here is Sault Ste Marie, when we have to fight to have two sidewalks on a quiet residential street? We already have the dubious reputation of having the second highest lane kilometer of streets per capita in Ontario (behind Timmins which is 42 miles wide and has a population of 45K or so).  This is the most expensive infrastructure to build and maintain yet we keep building more despite a decline in our population.