April 22nd, 2018

What was city thinking with bicycle path?

By Letter to the Editor on January 7, 2018.

Congratulations to Volker Steven on completion of the bicycle path addition on the north Scenic Drive overpass. Unfortunately, this project is a classic example of what the city of Lethbridge wants as opposed to what it needs, again catering to a minority group.

A question needs to be asked, will this path be used year round?

Last week, shortly after construction was completed, I observed the path being impassable. The additions north and south of the bridge were covered with snow. The city plows had directed the snow from the roads to the paths and, as a result, they were not usable. This is no reflection on the plow operators as they have no choice.

Here lies another well-thought-out venture costing taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars. At the time of writing of this letter, no bike tracks or footprints are visible on the pathway.

What thought process was used in designing this addition? Perhaps the engineering staff should come down from their ivory towers to ground level and see what they are designing. Still better, why do they not try and ride a bike on what they designed?

Nick Alvau


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5 Responses to “What was city thinking with bicycle path?”

  1. George McCrea says:

    Good letter Nick. As a sometimes cyclist myself my golden rule is to use existing pathways and sidewalks, cross at intersections using the installed technology, never ride down MM Dr because I can, always courteous to pedestrians by slowing or dismounting on walks and paths, never ride at night regardless of the led headlights and tail lights, reflective vests available, and NEVER ride my bike after the first sign of snow in the fall and until it is gone for good in May. But then I miss the wonders of travelling and slipping and sliding along that marvellous creation of 7th Ave So., venturing across north Scenic in snowshoes with bike strapped to my back in search of a dry piece of pavement. But then again, I have common sense, why should that be a trait of those spending our money. 🤦‍♂️🤔

  2. Fescue says:

    Criticizing a seasonal amenity like a bike path is a little odd. Kind of like criticizing our publicly-supported golf course for having so few golfers over the past few weeks.

    In my view, when talking about taxes more generally, one should have a look at all of the things our City supports beyond essential services and appreciate the things one enjoys and accept the others, knowing that other people in the community enjoy them. Lethbridge would be a far less attractive place to live, work, and start a business if it were not for many of these events and infrastructural features – like an effective bike system through the City.

    I hope Lethbridge continues to enjoy the leadership we currently have; who have a vision for a stronger and more vibrant community in the future.

  3. George McCrea says:

    Actually Henderson, your publicly funded golf course (tongue in cheek) just collected 1400.00 from me to use it. Over the course of the year they will probably collect another 600.00 in clubhouse fees and use. Of note is that included in that 1400.00 is a 125.00 course maintenance fee which is collected every year to assist in the maintenance of the course, trees fertilizers, upgrades, etc. The public can use it as part of a lease agreement with the city for a green fee. The city (you) provide little assistance in the maintenance and operation of this course yet it is open to the public. Concerning the bike path if the residents of 7th Ave were putting up 1400.00 a year to use the path and 125.00 a year to maintain it, there would be no bike path. You are really trying to compare apples to oranges. On a humorous note I would not fathom standing out on the course in a thunder storm hanging on to a bag of lightning rods anymore than I would traverse any city street in the dead of winter on a bicycle. Common sense. You can say these are for the select few but one pays it way and the other doesn’t.
    P.S the 1400.00 allows me as a senior to golf 4 days a week, no Fridays or weekends. That is my choice.

    • Fescue says:

      Actually, George, I thought the letter was about ‘what things we support as taxpayers’ in general. And I was thinking about the $75,000 dollars the City gave to Henderson Golf Club a couple of years ago to upgrade bunkers and women’s tee boxes (http://www.981thebridge.ca/news/lethbridge-news/henderson-lake-golf-club-receives-75k-grant-for-course-improvements/). I thought it was a good example, as I wanted you and a lot of the other senior white male golfers that make a sport of complaining about taxes to think about the topic and consider that other taxpayers value other things.

      I did enjoy your description of carrying your bike through the snow, though.

      • George McCrea says:

        The grant was one time and granted under the economic benefit the Alberta Jr. Golf tournaments brought to the city. The city does these one timers often, curling, rock bands at exhibition time, to name a few. 20 k here 20 k there, exploratory committees, police fire games., etc. The ongoing cost of maintaining the course is on the membership through a lease agreement. We are attempting to compare apples and oranges. I still think $125.00 a year user fee be attached to the squeaky wheels of London Road and 7th Ave to maintain the 170 some odd traffic signs, snow plowing, etc. An alternative is to have all cyclists licensed and insured, with equipment the same as a motor vehicle. A City bicycle license by-law could be created requiring all cyclists (me included) pay a fee every year. Funds from this could be directed for bike path maintenance as under normal circumstances areas such as 7th Ave., S would not have been plowed twice in the last month. If the BOD of Henderson went to the City for 10 or 12 million for a new clubhouse we could then chat about public money, above the wailing I would hope. Don’t look for that to happen any time soon. You are attempting to compare tax funded projects with membership funded projects. P.s. anytime you want to step out on the course and walk the cart paths, I don’t think anyone would stop you. You may have to check in at the pro shop and sign a waiver exhonerating the striker of an errant Pro V 1 if it hits you in the noggin. Feel free to walk the course or cross country ski from Oct 31 to spring golf ball free. Don’t bring your bike as the cart paths won’t be plowed, just the snow shoes!!

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