On Saturday, April 14 from 1-3pm, the MVA Social Inclusion Project led by co-chair, Jayne Fenrich of St. Thomas, Vancouver organized the South Van Intergenerational Neighbourhood Walk. Sponsored by Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA) and the City of Vancouver’s Pedestrian Spot Improvement Program the goal was to learn how unsafe sidewalks contribute to social isolation, to raise awareness about how our sidewalks should work for everybody and to get a commitment from the City to take action to repair the sidewalks this spring. There have been increasing reports about the state of sidewalks contributing to people’s fear of falling.
The focus of this particular walk was to inspect the state of the sidewalks in the Matheson/Arbor area of South Vancouver. Jayne, Reverend Margaret Marquardt and others, with City of Vancouver Engineering and Transportation staff had a very successful early afternoon looking at this growing problem that has gone largely unaddressed particularly the social isolation aspect.
The Reverend Margaret Marquardt, chair of the diocesan Eco-Justice Unit and a leader of MVA’s Strategy Team sent photos and information about the event and encourages folks in other areas of the city to look into doing similar events to work together to help reduce social exclusion.
- On the right, Rev. Marquardt and Jayne Fenrich. On the far left is MVA’s Lead Organizer, Tracy Maynard
- Reverend Margaret Marquardt at the corner of Rumble and Matheson with a sign indicating uneven sidewalks
- Reps from the City of Vancouver with Jayne Fenrich (centre left)
- Badly worn and broken sidewalk with a ruler measuring the gap
- St Thomas’ Social Inclusion team members.
(Prepared with files and photos from Margaret Marquardt and Jayne Fenrich)