Tobius Holmes, in the wheelchair, and Dea Dea Watson, residents of Paddle Road in North Cowichan, feel isolated in their home due to ongoing road work related to the construction of an apartment building on the road. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Paddle Road residents feel trapped in homes

Ongoing construction work makes road impassable

Tobius Holmes wants to know why he is still a prisoner in his own home.

Holmes, a resident of one of approximately five homes at the end of Paddle Road in North Cowichan, said he and his neighbours continue to be isolated due to ongoing road work related to the construction of a four-storey, 112-unit apartment building on Paddle Road by developer Seymour Pacific Developments.

RELATED STORY: ANOTHER MULTI-UNIT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED FOR NORTH COWICHAN

Holmes, who relies on an electric scooter for transport due to a health condition, said he has tried numerous times to get out of the end of Paddle Road to do simple everyday things, like get to doctor’s appointments and go shopping.

But because the road is in such terrible shape, taxis and Handi-Dart services can’t come to pick him up because the road is a huge quagmire of mud much of the time.

RELATED STORY: CONSTRUCTION CUTTING OFF PADDLE ROAD RESIDENTS

John Dyck, communications manager with BC Transit which operates the Handi-Dart service for people with disabilities, said safety is the top priority for BC Transit and drivers never do anything that is deemed unsafe.

He said BC Transit evaluates accessibility to its clients and makes every effort to provide the service.

“I can’t speak to this particular case, but we always try to find alternative arrangements to find solutions and provide service to our riders,” Dyck said.

Holmes said he has had to cancel numerous appointments and outings because of the muddy road, and he’s sure a lot of people on his road are having similar problems, but nothing is being done to deal with them.

“I would really like to know why it is that a road that has only one way in or out can be blocked in this way, and why was something not done before they started to tear it up?” he asked.

It’s not the first time the issue has been raised.

In early October, Karen Grieder, 75, a neighbour of Holmes who recently had hip surgery, said the road is frequently closed to the residents as construction continues, and the residents, many of whom are elderly and/or disabled, must park almost half a kilometre from their homes and walk across what she considers a dangerous construction site.

She also said she and her neighbours are concerned that emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire trucks, don’t have access to their homes at these times and they fear for their safety. The Municipality of North Cowichan said in October arrangements have been made to allow emergency vehicles to access the area through an adjacent car dealership.

A statement from the Municipality of North Cowichan said that the installation of three new streetlights as well as underground hydro, telephone, and cable on Paddle Road has taken longer than anticipated.

The statement said that all underground work on the road is expected to be complete by mid-November, curb and sidewalk work is expected to be complete by the end of November, with paving to take place shortly afterward.

Weather permitting, the updated anticipated road completion date is mid-December.

“North Cowichan staff have spoken to many of the Paddle Road residents that are experiencing disruption and we acknowledge the challenges that a project of this nature can cause,” the statement said.

“While this is a private development project, it is being undertaken in accordance with a permit issued by North Cowichan. The municipality will continue to monitor the site daily to ensure the contractor is fulfilling its obligations under the permit.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Wrestlers begin 2019 in fine form with Cowichan camp

The particpants ranged in age from seven to 17

Mary Lowther column: Seed catalogues and proper storage

Seeds kept dry and at 4 C can last three times as long as if they were held in household conditions.

Chemainus businesses take a direct hit during storm

Last few days before Christmas important to many to compensate for slower times

Annual hockey jamboree at Lake Cowichan coming this weekend

Annual Lake Cowichan hockey jamboree ready to hit the ice

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read