Here's my above-the-airport survey response

The trail survey is open until January 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm. I've linked a pdf of the survey here.

whitehorsewalks.com

My SURVEY RESPONSE

" Generally speaking, trails that are NOT designated City trails are left in their current unmaintained state, except where a management, environmental or liability concern warrants action."

I find that thinking of the survey and reading the above statement at the start makes me think that the task force is not accepting the fact that these are neighbourhood trails.The city talks about the importance of people doing healthy recreation, about the need for including a wide gamut of abilities in trail use, about making a trail system that will last residents for years to come, that give the variety of trail uses for even the most challenged users and that are close to the neighbourhoods. This I'd call a neighbourhood trail network.

Some of my strongly opposed are not for what's proposed, but rather that it doesn't go far enough. Questions doen't always allow comments, but I've included anyway.


A) My profile
#1:
Hillcrest

#2:
Walking/Hiking; snowshoeing; other (plant photography); occasional commuting on foot


B) Task Force Criteria
#3:
Strongly disagree.
The actual trail criteria sheets I've yet to make much sense of. Focus seems to be on assumption that motor vehicles must be allowed. Emphasis on most everything but walkers. If you look at walkers, they are able to use trails in a very sustainable manner. The problem is vehicle use of the trails has destroyed walking trails. Our punishment is to have our trail network converted to something more appropriate for bicycles and heartier walkers, and our neighbourhood walking trails left wrecked.


C) Proposed non-motorized network
#4, # 5:
Strongly oppose.
Comments: This doesn't go far enough, doesn't focus on encouraging people to walk. I'm not able to discus #4 without using the solution (#5) in the comment. I'll treat them as one question. It's not clear why the subject of a Park Management Plan for Paddy's Pond/Ice Lake Park is not on the survey. The park boundaries were set by the OCP and will generally follow obvious Zoning. To call it a proposed boundary seems odd.

Paddy's Pond/Ice Lake area:

  • We need to make trails for the neighbourhood network. The trails chosen make a network that is fine for some purposes. Neighbourhood trail use needs closer connectors. Ignoring recommended trail repairs ignores community health, variety, diversity, inclusiveness and accessibility. If we want to encourage more trail use, more people becoming active, trying to stay healthy, then we also need to look at the near-by neighbourhood-level network. Read more here.

Logan Arkell Wetlands issues

  • need for loops, especially for Logan, Arkell, Ingram people.
  • Walking access to Copper Haul Road using the 'Get to the Ridge' route. Read more here.
  • Will the Porcupine Ridge Trail become a community use trail for winter, both for walking and snowshoeing?

South side Hamilton Blvd:

  • - The trail task force doesn't address the extreme unwalkability of these neighbourhoods. Where's their walking variety? They have just the ridge trail. Where are the 2, 3, 4, 5 km walks? Their public access trails need to become featured. Read more here.
  • When KDFN develops their land, many of the non-motorized trails could disappear. The concept of sharing says motorized should only get one of the main by-pass trails, not both. These are just routes to get out of the area, not destinations for them (OCP, Trail Plan, ...) By taking the Lobird cutline and making it motorized, we're discouraging this as part of the non-motorized use. This approximate 2.5 km loop will take less than 10 minutes. In return, they'll be subjecting Lobird residents to noise, discouraging non-motorized use of the Lobird cut-line. There already is a motorized network getting motorized vehicles out and away. This is enough.
  • The trail on the bluff alongside the road is very scenic and very open. It appeals to those with safety in the woods issues. It was promised to be made a trail as part of the Hamilton Blvd. ext. process. This piece should be non-motorized obviously. There are high spots with views that call out for park benches.

McIntyre end

  • Seems to be no trails. We need easy access across and beyond the ski trails and clear signage .
  • There needs to be a safe road crossing at the big bend used by Hillcrest going to the Canada Games Center, and by McIntyre going downtown.

Ice Lake area:

  • The main trail going down to the weigh scales and joining the Rock Gardens Trail needs to be City non-motorized trail. People like walking in the woods much more than walking on a road.
  • The trail from Ice Lake to Lobird needs a proper highway crossing. This was actually promised during the lead up to construction of the Hamilton Blvd ext.
  • Again, road crossing from the Rock Garden parking area across to the above-mentioned Hamilton Blvd ext Trail. Think of going from the Copper Ridge area to the Rock Gardens on foot. Best route is? Obviously the Hamiton Blvd. trail would be used.

#6
Sometimes.
The cross-the-Highway connections will become even more important as the Airport Perimeter Trail is developed. Currently Hillcrest is championing a piece of paved active transportation trail from the Airport, alongside the highway, to the Paved Baxter Gulch section. One day in the future, most of the perimeter trail will be paved.

#7
Very important. The city needs to be looking at encouraging walking. It needs to get people walking further. Likewise, the crossing here needs to be addressed. A pedestrian island would likely be good.

#8
Strongly agree.
The Parks and Trails department, as a champion for walking in the city, misses the boat by not offering the Riverdale Task Force Survey this question. The recent spending on planning for roads around Porter Creek D/McIntyre Creek shows the city can budget for things they feel necessary. Likewise for Mt Sima. Parks and trails as a spokesperson for a heathly walking community, should be describing this option in glowing terms!

#9
Decommission. It's interestingly built but will deteriorate very soon, even more than it is — exposed nails, broken boards, trees dangerously close. It's unfair to kids to tease them into an unsafe, unsuperviseable structure. If Parks and trails has spare money let's use it for repairing trails around Paddy's Pond. We did back the CDF application for just such things.


D) Motorized multi-use network (proposed?)
there hasn't been a process I'm aware of open to the public where that happened. When was it?
#10
Strongly oppose. See # 4 for why.

#11

#12
Without the Lobird cutline, this makes no sense for being motorized. Give Lobird residents a break and don't run a motorized trail through their neighbourhood!

#13
None of the above. This is a very inappropriate idea. We want to create a natural pond area, interpreted with walking trails. Designating this as a KSA official route will doom the area to always being a snowmobile playground. See also Q 4,5 Paddy's Pond.


E) Task Force network criteria
#14
Somewhat successful
But really, by not including a walking focus that looked specifically at neighbourhood needs, you've not really solved our problems. And by creating more motorized trails, you'll only add to unwalkability.

By not including the airport and the Airport Perimeter Trail the task force is ignoring an important part of our area.


F) Implementation
#15
What's the difference between trail upgrades and restoration
Without knowing where the task force is proposing it's hard to rank. Obviously fixing neighbourhood trails is more important than special bicycle or motorized needs. It's interesting that the idea is to widen and make bi-directional trails that as simple foot paths, lazily wander thrue dense pine, trails that are destinations in themselves.

Signage. It's important that the neighbourhoods have much input into signage, trail heads, mapping, interpretation — from beginning to end of process.


G) Trail names
#16
Meaningful names make direction finding much easier. Rock Gardens Trail, rather than some meaningless name.


H) Comments
#17
What next? This should not be going to Council yet. Let's have more sharing and discussion. One-on-one meeting are very unproductive. Building community and neighbourhood spirit requires more group discussion.

Parks and trails should not leave this without also starting the discussion on stewardship, on Park planning, on developing Codes of Ethics for bicycle, motorized and non-motorized groups.
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Peter Long