Metro News: Overbrook residents demand infrastructure improvements

Posted July 26, 2017

Residents of Overbrook are concerned about what they see as a lack of basic infrastructure in their neighbourhood, which is home to a high percentage of low-income residents.
 
“There’s a lot of areas that don’t have sidewalks,” said Overbrook Community Association president Rawlson King. “And the way the city typically operates is that sidewalks only go in if there’s new developments.”
 
Some of the concerns were generalized—residents just want better infrastructure, but not specific infrastructure. Others were more specific—King says the community would like to see OC Transpo roll back some 2011 cost-cutting measures that saw routes in the neighbourhood reduced.
 
Amber Slegtenhorsp, the co-chair of ACORN’s Overbrook chapter, which organized a small demonstration Wednesday, said many of the streets with social housing units on them tend to have “decrepit” sidewalks, and receive the poorest maintenance.
 
“In the winter time, it’s murderous,” she said. “Not everyone here has a vehicle. There’s a lot of low-income people, and there’s no sidewalks, barely.”
 
Residents said their concerns are falling on deaf ears. “We did this last year, and there’s been little progress,” said Tina Ford, a low-income Overbrook resident. “They’re not moving fast enough.”
A representative from Coun. Tobi Nussbaum’s office did attend the demonstration, however.
 
“I think it’s fair to say, as a low-income area, we tend to be overlooked,” said Slegtenhorsp. “I don’t want to say ignored, but overlooked.”
 
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Article by Kieran Delamont for Metro News Ottawa