By Jensen, Randy on June 6, 2020.
A petition launched this week in Lethbridge to oppose Six Mile Coulee trail development has already garnered over 2,000 signatures.
The petition, formally called “Opposition of Pathway 24 Development in Six Mile Coulee,” is sponsored by Bryce Nugent.
Nugent told The Herald the petition was prompted by recent discussions at city council surrounding the $1.7-million proposed development which would add stairways and limestone to the first three kilometres of the Six Mile Coulee trail, a trail prized by many users in Lethbridge who love its current undeveloped state.
Council was told by City staff public consultations had revealed a desire in Lethbridge for changes to the trail to create greater opportunities for public access to that part of the river valley.
Nugent said he doesn’t know who these people supposedly in favour are.
“At the last city council meeting all the councillors have said they have found no one that’s for this, and nothing but opposition,” he said. “Who are these people? Where’s the data?
“All those user groups mentioned by (Parks manager) Dave Ellis in his presentation (on May 25), all of those groups are supporting our position. We don’t know who he is talking about that is in public support. No one knows.”
Nugent said families are already using the trail as well as nature lovers, walkers and recreators of all kinds in his experience of it. By garnering over 2,000 signatures in three days, this petition reveals, he said, it’s not just the mountain bikers and trail runners who are opposed to these developments as has been claimed.
“People are using this trail for walking and for families,” Nugent stated. “What (Director of Infrastructure Services) Doug Hawkins said at (Monday’s council) meeting is they had found middle ground, and what they are proposing is for the general public. But, in this case, it is the general public that is signing this petition.”
Nugent said he understands why some in City administration might be concerned about unmanaged trail development through Lethbridge’s river valleys, and his petition is calling for, along with the cancellation of the Pathway 24 project, council support for sustainable trail development.
“There has been a Lethbridge Trail Alliance established on Facebook that is including hikers, bikers, walkers, environmentalists – they are pooling together and they want the same thing as the City,” he explained. “They don’t want the Wild West down there either. They want some form of rules, proper signage, proper bridges; so the City is trying to solve a problem by putting a (limestone) pathway through when that is not the solution. The solution is to work with some kind of organization that already uses the path who can put those rules in place for them. What has been proposed is not going to work, and I think we have lots of good ideas. This group has just not been heard from.”
To view Nugent’s petition visit http://www.change.org/StopPathway24.
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