Oakville Homes

December 9, 2009

Mattamy design – are kids safe in Mr. Mattamy’s neighbourhood?


I sometimes really wonder who is driving the planning cart in Ontario, and especially in Ottawa.  I mean, we have Mattamy over there doing environmental damage to the local rivers and trying to sell homes before they get the permit to build.  Now I see local officials are wondering how to fix the problem of killer sidewalks. 

I thought we put sidewalks alongside the road to ensure pedestrians had a nice safe place to walk the neighbourhood and for our children to be able to safely ride their small bikes and tricycles.  A place for neighbours to stand and talk with each other and, a place for the early-morning neighbourhood paperboy to drag his papers along in a wagon and know he wasn’t about to get rear-ended by some drunk coming home late from a party.

But, in Mattamy land, they cram the places in so tight, we now have a problem, at least in the Ottawa area. 

Reported in the Ottawacitizen:

“The committee heard that the issue arose after a young boy riding a tricycle on the sidewalk was almost hit by a van pulling out of a driveway in a high-density area where there is little set-back between homes and sidewalks”. 

So, “Barrhaven Councillor Jan Harder brought forward a report recommending that certain proposed sidewalks be cut from a Mattamy development in the Half Moon Bay subdivision”.

That’s right.  Force the kids out onto the roadway where they will be safer from vans driving out of the small footprint, high-density homes like Mattamy is building.

At least Somerset Councillor Diane Holmes has it right.

“The fact that we have designed suburbs that force people into cars and do not allow them the choice, often, of walking and their children walking, has not served us well,” she said. “We need to redesign our suburban areas.”

I think if Mattamy wants to build, then tell them to go back to the drawing board.  Yes, I know we want density and the developers do get profit from density, but lets face it.  If you cram the people in too tight you will get more problems than just children being run over on the roadway.  Thin walls, etc only create neighbour disputes and we all know how thin they make the walls now.

I can see the new Mattamy ads now.  First we saw the wide-lot ads that promised a paradise in suburbia and remember the nice ads that showed how good their designs were for the children and families.  Now, without a sidewalk, they will be able to boast how big the front yard is.  Just make sure you put running lights on your child’s tricycle so they don’t get run over.

I saw how callous Mattamy was in terms of my children’s lives.  Now, they want to develop suburbia in their own image where kids can be used for target practice by the traffic.  Real family neighbourhood, eh.

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