A pathway to angst

Letter writer steamed over Connors Road area foot-bike route

Editor:

I feel compelled to write this because I am extremely angry at the way city council has shown blatant disregard for the concerns and feelings of my neighbours on Riverside Crescent and Connors Road, and the fact that, once again, council has, rushed into spending taxpayers money unnecessarily.

Following the attendance at city council meeting of a residents’ representative, council may have garnered some respect if council had shown some wisdom and been gutsy enough to say that maybe a reconsideration was in order, instead of rushing to a contract.

The result of council’s actions has caused a detrimental change in our lifestyle. We enjoyed a natural, vegetation screen between Connors Road and the rail line. That vegetation is now damaged. This will impact our homes’ values and certainly spoil the aesthetic value that appealed to us when we decided to live here.

When we met on site with Chris Barlow, Director of Transportation and Civic Works, (with no council member attending), we were given a promise that minimum vegetation would be removed, that the trail would be about 10 feet in width. Now we have heavy equipment knocking down trees to create a path 24 feet wide. This is unacceptable.

This path is a totally unnecessary spending spree of more than a quarter of a million dollars.

The excuse for this is that Columbia Avenue between Kalawsky’s and Canadian Tire is too unsafe and thus this roundabout detour through our (formerly!) quiet street is needed. However, there is a sidewalk available along that short stretch of Columbia Avenue.

Is council now saying that passage along that sidewalk will be banned?

Alternatively, because of council’s thoughtlessness, we now have an additional rail crossing in a wooded area close to a blind curve, to be used by young people wearing earphones, riding skateboards and bikes in the happy carelessness of youth.

Connors Road is currently used by 46 households as their only access, and we have been dismissed as of no consequence.

Why is this happening? The whole project makes no sense, neither practically nor financially. I hope council feels the upset caused by this to my neighbourhood is worth it, because I certainly don’t.

Nesta Hale,

Castlegar