Were you aware Castlegar City Council has awarded a contract for $226,000 for a 10 foot-wide paved path along Connors Road? The path is not being built for the benefit of local residents, but rather to, “provide a safer route for kids and families to access the community complex from the north end, and the same for families accessing the Millennium Park/Zuckerberg Island area from the south end,” according to Director of Transportation and Civic Works, Chris Barlow.
How many families or kids walk from the north end to the community complex? Maybe the odd skateboarder, but no one else. When asked that question, Barlow said he has seen similar projects be successful, and used his former residence of Red Deer as an example.
According to Barlow the road between Century 21 and Canadian Tire is unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and boarders, but he could not recall any such accidents along this route.
What appears to me is that the City will have this path built to address no known problem, for no known group, with no idea if anyone will use it.
We do know that some green space (the only buffer between residents and noise from cars, trucks and trains) will be removed. Deer, birds and other small animals will be affected.
Residents and guests will not be able to park on the west side of Connors Road in the future. Large trucks coming and going from the sewer treatment plant will have to drive across the area as they cannot negotiate the corner in and out of the plant.
There are problems now with run-off from heavy rains along Connors Road. More pavement will mean more run-off.
We also know the contract is for almost a quarter million dollars plus more money that has been and will be spent. Does that figure include engineering costs?
The city also plans to widen the sidewalk on the Highway 3 overpass in the future, and that will be expensive.
It doesn’t seem to make sense to go through three intersections and cross the railroad tracks twice, one, at an uncontrolled crossing about 250 feet from a blind corner, to avoid a section of Columbia Avenue with no known problems, to build a path that no one will use.
I think there are better uses for the money.