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Unhappy trails: Why the St. John’s bike plan is all downhill

Unhappy trails: Why the St. John's bike plan is all downhill

The proposed bike plan would affect trails that closely follow the course of rivers, like this section of the Rennie’s River trail. (John Gushue/CBC) This…

Saturday, Nov 21

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The proposed bike plan would affect trails that closely follow the course of rivers, like this section of the Rennie’s River trail. (John Gushue/CBC) This column is an opinion by Edward Riche, a St. John’s writer and a frequent contributor. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section , please see the FAQ .

An Oct. 17 letter to the editor in the Telegram from Robert Bishop raised an alarm about the City of St. John’s bike plan.

"At a suspiciously low-key function on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 2nd, the City of St. John’s took a giant step towards the destruction of the cherished walking trails that daily, year-round, see thousands of residents and visitors enjoying healthy exercise in beautiful and safe surroundings. The occasion was to announce a funding agreement between the three levels of government to ‘upgrade’ the Kelly’s Brook Trail, one of the main trails in the Grand Concourse system, in order to make it a ‘shared-use path’ to encourage bicycling," Bishop wrote.

Mr. Bishop was correct. The report states plainly that a significant portion of the shining path for bicycles in St. John’s is to be paved over the pedestrian trails tracing the rivers that run through the city: "This plan proposes three catalyst projects: 1. Kelly’s Brook Trail from Columbus Drive to Kings Bridge Road; 2. Rennie’s River Trail from Portugal Cove Road to Prince Philip Drive; 3. Virginia River Trail from Quidi Vidi Lake to Penny Crescent."

I’ll cop to having been an inattentive ratepayer regarding […]

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