Brickbat: Sidewalk to Nowhere


nachans via / CC BY

In Smithers, British Columbia, North Central Plumbing and Heating spent $10,000 to build a 30-foot sidewalk that goes nowhere. The nearest sidewalk is 500 meters away. The problem is that a local ordinance requires developers doing more than $75,000 in construction or repairs to build public infrastructure outside their premises. That law was triggered when the company moved to a new building and remodeled it.

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  1. Was the town of Smithers named after that famous character… the “Cockney Trader” in Eugene O’Neill’s play The Emperor Jones?

  2. Morning

    1. Mornin’. Not excellent, Smithers.

      1. ‘Release the hounds’.

  3. I just wonder who spends $10,000 to build a 30-foot sidewalk ? It is a bad idea I think.
    I would better buy an essay than build sidewalk.

    1. would better

      Betcha they’re awesome essays too.

      1. Essays? Mere screeds really, an aggregate of cracked ideas floated out without any reinforcement.

    2. no actually named after annoying child actress Jane…

    3. better to buy a vowel…

      1. They are less expensive.

    4. Actual article said 30 meters, not feet.

    1. For a change I’m pleased copyright restrictions deny me a video.

      Yeah Canada

  4. The problem is that a local ordinance requires developers doing more than $75,000 in construction or repairs to build public infrastructure outside their premises.

    No, the problem is that no local ordinance requires developers doing more than $75,000 in construction or repairs to erect public art outside their premises.

    1. Sounds like we need to man-date a pocket park for the bums to sleep in.

    2. you said erect…snicker, snicker

  5. He said he’s looking forward to hearing ideas from residents on Thursday.

    At the end of the public meeting it was decided that the sidewalk will be torn up and that North Central Heating and Plumbing will pay the city council $10,000 directly.

    1. The council just needs to wet it’s beak.

  6. Guy shoulda just put a sign on the lawn declaring it a limousine parking lot.

  7. “Trevor Bruintjes, general manager of North Central Plumbing and Heating, said it cost $10,000 to build the walkway that connects to nothing as the nearest sidewalk is 500 metres north.”

    “It is all by itself, for hundreds and hundreds of feet,” Bruintjes said.

    So Canadians are all formal like when writing an article, and state “metres” when referring to distance (even using the -re ending instead of -er). But when actually *talking*, like normal American people, a phrase such as “hundreds and hundreds of FEET” is acceptable. Good to know.

    1. Don’t worry – Canada has a bureau dedicated to ensuring that proper weights and measures are used and have already dispatched agents to investigate and fine the business for using non-metric measurements.

      1. as well as failure to use bi-lingual notation…

    2. The real head-scratcher was that he had to hold the same press conference ten minutes later in French to comply with another law.

      1. Actually – he had to hold the French one *first*.

        1. even though no one in BC speaks French…

  8. Where I live in Indiana there is a similar policy, but the city planners ? who are petty tyrants if ever there were any ? keep changing their mind about the appropriate setback for the sidewalks that *nobody ever uses* and as a result you can pass a business built at one time with a sidewalk at the curb and another from a few years later with a grass median between the sidewalk and the street, and then another one with a bigger median and then back to the curb. As a result, the sidewalk sections *do not connect* at all, ensuring that nobody will use them. And all this along a highway that has no pedestrian traffic draw anyway and that can go weeks without anyone walking on it. The waste of money and effort is astounding, but it would surprise me if the planners don’t report the “increase in economic activity” that comes from paying the contractors to build the sidewalks as a marker of their benefit for the community.

  9. A buddy of mine ran into this in Virginia. The city made him put in a turn lane, curbs and a sidewalk for a professional services office complex he wanted to build. It added a quarter million to the project.

    A few months after it was completed, they came through and widened the entire road, tearing out everything he had just built at their insistence.

    He said he might as well have taken a quarter-million in cash and set it on fire in the parking lot.

    1. Sidewalks are uncommon in my area. We have the occasional sidewalk to nowhere as well as the handicap curb cutouts that are not connected to a sidewalk. I believe the handicap curb cutouts are mandatory. The sidwalks to nowhere are too random to be a mandate.

    2. Combine that now with destroying perfecting good cars to “stimulate the economy” with “cash for clunkers”, so that we could build newer-better cars that are more efficient.

      We need to also burn down perfectly good houses so that we can stimulate the economy, destroy much of our foods, crops, and what few factories we have left in the USA, to also stimulate the economy, and…

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