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LETTER: Multi-use trails make perfect sense

It was a wet and rainy day for a walk Monday but people could still be seen on St. John’s walking trails including this boardwalk next to Rennies River.

Keith Gosse/The Telegram
A wet and rainy day on the Rennie’s River Trail. — Telegram file photo

The new multi-use trail path being proposed in St. John’s is the way to go. I have a message for the people opposed to the new city multi-use trail plan: you are being greedy.

At your feet are hundreds of kilometres of walking trails, including all of Bowring Park, Bannerman Park, Quidi Vidi Lake, Cowan Heights, etc. You have 300 kilometres of East Coast Trail, hundreds of miles of T’Railway and more than a 1,000 kilometres of city sidewalks to roam. What more do you want?

Your objections to the new multi-use trail plan are completely misguided. E.R. Hannah writes (The Telegram, Oct. 23) “Cyclists definitely need safe trails but it must be a separate trail system.” That simply doesn’t hold up. Every major city in Canada has a network of shared trails. I just returned from Regina, where bikers, strollers, roller skaters, runners, people using walkers and yes, walkers themselves, all use the trail around beautiful Wascana Lake. The cities of Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, Halifax all have shared trails, so again, what is the big deal?

Your objections to the new multi-use trail plan are completely misguided.

Elizabeth Winter’s letter (The Telegram Oct. 23) goes so far as to declare “If this plan goes through, all will be lost.” This simply isn’t the case and, in fact, much will be gained.

As Coun. Dave Lane noted in The Telegram on Oct. 20, “Accessibility really is the key term here. … The widened trails will make it easier for wheelchair users, cyclists and families using strollers.” That sounds perfect to me.

My threefold message to St. John’s city council is: first, show leadership. Don’t be guided by the fear or greed of others. Secondly, realize if some walkers don’t like the new shared path they have plenty of other options, whereas citizens with mobility issues have absolutely none. And finally, stop studying this issue to pieces. Your drawing board pencil is worn down, so get up and get at it.

Mike Fleming

St. John’s


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