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Squamish is one of seven B.C. communities
chosen to pilot the new policy. Should the CMCC trail gain approval, MOTCA will
pony up $50,000 for the work, funnelling the money through the district, which
takes an administration fee, said McLane. As with all trails under the policy,
consultations with First Nations and environmental stakeholders have to take
place before the decision can be made official.
“The theme of the trail is really fast and
really smooth,” McLane said. “This is like traffic management, this trail. It’s
meant to traverse the area and catch the other trails.”
Sustainability is a high priority. According
to McLane, you could drop $50,000 on creation, but do it poorly, with no mind
for erosion, and then have to spend $10,000 every season on upkeep.
“So what we look for is a slope between five
and seven degrees, ideally, with lots of grade reversals, which is lots of ups
and downs. That way, water doesn’t stay on the trail, which is the biggest
cause of erosion.”
McLane expects a decision on the trail to come
down within the next two weeks. The trail hasn’t been named yet, and CMCC is
considering a contest to come up with a moniker.
But not everyone is as positive as McLane.
Cliff Miller is the vice president of SORCA, as well as the director for Test
of Metal. Miller remembers the consultation phase of the policy’s development,
which took place a couple years ago. As far as the ministry’s safety agenda is
concerned, technical trail features (TTFs), which are any kind of stunt ride
modification, are cause for concern — and so $2 million in third party insurance
will be required where those features come into play.
“That was the deal breaker for us,” he said,
remembering how SORCA walked away from negotiations in frustration. “The
analogy is you don’t go to minor hockey and ask minor hockey to pick up the
entire liability for every single user.”
But the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
(SLRD) has entered into an agreement with the province under the auspices of
Corridor Trails Program. Thanks to the Municipal Insurance Association, they’ll
be footing the $2 million insurance bill on behalf of the cycling
organizations. The partnership will also see the province work with the SLRD to
maintain official trails, and the latter government is working on a trails
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