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In summary, I am very disappointed that the RMOW and your Capital Projects team has made no allowances whatsoever for the use of the Valley Trail between Rainbow Park and the north end of Lormier Road for a period of basically one full year. This is unacceptable to the residents of the Westside and I request that you make some allowances for our needs. I am also pretty shocked that the RMOW can simply do any project they want with “fait accompli” notification to residents and taxpayers in the 11 th hour with no consultation and no notification required. This entire project should have been subject to a development permit and public review. I request that you, the mayor and administrator meet to discuss how Westside residents can be considered in maintaining some type of corridor during the next year.
In December 2006, almost two years ago, the District of Squamish council unanimously supported a motion to develop a bike lane policy. By May 2007 Councillor Patricia Heintzman had, on her own initiative and in conjunction with the Squamish Trails Society, developed and distributed to district staff her first draft (further updates have been made) of a 24-page policy document entitled Improving Conditions For Cyclists & Pedestrians: Possible Initiatives and Best Practices. And within the last half-year, council has on numerous occasions directed staff to make cycling and pedestrian safety a priority along the Westway and Government Road corridors.
So, what has been done by the District of Squamish staff since December 2006 to follow up on these motions? Not surprisingly, but sadly, sweet nothing. In the meantime, with the rapid development of this town, it is becoming more dangerous than ever to ride a bike or walk along the streets of Squamish.
Of course, during the past two years the price of gasoline has dramatically increased, the Highway 99 redevelopment has hindered east-west connections throughout the community, and the corridor trail committee has been doing its work. Maybe, just maybe, enough has changed for staff to finally follow through on this very clear message from council to meet the needs of the community, and for council to bring down the hammer if staff does not get the job done in a timely manner.
The issue of bike lanes on the north-south connector of Government Road-Queens Way-Buckley Avenue is on the Sept. 16 council agenda. Concerned citizens may wish to urge the mayor and council to ensure that staff follows through on these motions with some meaningful action.
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