Five things regarding Janna Sylvest’s letter to the editor:
1. “Many waterfront owners” want a 12 km long bicycle path to Blueberry. We canvassed approximately 120 homes with lots bounded by the Columbia River. Greater than 98 per cent were opposed. Lots of other Castlegar residents are also opposed to the cost and risk associated with the proposed path.
2. The Official Community Plan public consultation is a required process, given to municipalities by provincial legislation. It’s nothing new.
3. Terrain stability concerns are “silly.” Sylvest has no background in terrain stability. People’s concerns are real.
4. Expropriation of private properties for a recreational path are not common in B.C. This would be expensive and divisive.
5. The other cost concerns, apparently overblown by concerned residents, are not “silly” or inconsequential. This is because of the steep sand slopes, and the need for massive retaining walls (City of Vancouver 2017, Thurber Consultants 1981, Urban Systems 2008), similar to the Seawall in Vancouver. It is interesting that Janna Sylvest’s election campaign website (Janna has a Planna) rips the city for unwarranted expenditures, and poor maintenance of existing trails, while demanding something expensive and difficult.
If the city wants a river access path network, how about we develop the city property south of the Kinnaird Bridge? It could be a series of gardens and paths similar to Buchart Gardens, also once a quarry, with numerous places to access the river, would be visible from the bridge, contiguous with the Complex and a thing of beauty.