Fixing Coler Road Cut-Through Path

Jul 22, 2022 | Ward 4 News

I was very excited to learn this week that a cut-through path at the end of Coler Road (leading into Woodbury Gardens Apartments) has finally been fixed! The end of Coler abuts the property of Woodbury Gardens and neighbors use this cut-through in both directions. From Coler, residents can use this path to access a school bus stop and public park at Woodbury. From Woodbury, residents can walk to the commercial activities on Packard (York, Anthony’s Pizza, etc.).

For years now, this access point between Coler and Woodbury has been plagued with obstacles: an old chain link fence blocked all but a very narrow width and a worn down dirt path leading to a sidewalk would flood and ice over in inclement weather. It looked like this:

Coler Road path cut through before fix July 2022

I’ve been aware of this problem for some time, but I knew, also, that it exists entirely on the private property of Woodbury Gardens. The City has no legal leverage to force its improvement; it is not included on any site plans or City maps of designated pedestrian or cycling routes.

In May, a resident on Coler reached out to me and reminded me of the problem of this path. He also shared an email he had received from City staff, explaining that water main and resurfacing work was delayed in his neighborhood because of difficulties in procuring an easement from Woodbury Gardens. I reached out to management at Woodbury Gardens to learn more about both of these issues.

Staff in Woodbury management were kind enough to meet with me on May 12th to look at the path and talk about solutions. We walked the site and talked about how easily the problem could be fixed and how it provided value to residents on both sides (Woodbury and Coler). They were generous with their time and connected me directly with the owner of Woodbury, Mitchell Bleznak.

When we met, Woodbury staff also showed me the proposed site for a City easement: the City easement would place a sewage lift station at the northeast corner of Woodbury property, abutting backyards on Iroquois Place. I understand Woodbury’s resistance to allowing that easement, though I have since confirmed with staff: this sewage lift station is needed to address water quality issues. I am following this Ward 4 issue closely.

This Thursday, Mr. Bleznak called me to share news that the pedestrian connector on Woodbury Gardens property had been fixed! He emailed me the photo below, illustrating the newly improved access point.

Coler Road path cut through after fix July 2022

I want to express my appreciation to Woodbury Gardens for addressing this problem and being good neighbors!

Coler Road path cut through before and after fix July 2022