By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published June 01, 2010
I've just got back from a three week research trip, and am very disappointed to hear that any progress on the Chedoke bike path has been delayed by another month.
This is all the more disappointing since this project has been in the works *at least six years (I first heard about it in 2004), and will be one of the best used cycle paths in the City, both for commuting and recreation.
It also provides an alternative to the very dangerous Aberdeen/Longwood route between downtown and Westdale/McMaster.
I strongly recommend that the city split the project: construct the railtrail/403/railyard section now, and delay the Golf Course section until the route has been agreed between the Golf Course and local residents.
This is an optimal solution as it allows for completion of most of the route now, while the money and political will is available.
In fact, the largest benefits will come from the rail trail/403/railyard section in any case (and cyclists can continue using the current path across the Golf Course in the meantime, as they have done without incident for decades).
Any further delay will push construction back at another year at best, and the inertia may kill the whole project entirely.
I urge the city to proceed with tendering the rail trail/403/railyard section of the path now.
It's especially frustrating that it is the municipal golf course that is proving to be the main obstacle here. Given that we have exclusively dedicated a huge area of beautiful public escarpment land to a single use, the golf course should be obligated to be flexible. Or else they should pay market value rent to the City!
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