Editor, The Record:
Many of us are concerned about various communities getting on the bandwagon of walking trails, usually through green spaces not previously intruded upon by humans.
This is not a healthy alternative for citizens who used to have backyards for their kids and neighbourhood friends while parents had coffee on the patio, and a public park was just down the street.
Many years ago, I recall that my backyard in Burnaby was small, as was the house, but the backyard was half the size of the lot. We didn’t have to get in our car and drive to a walking trail so we could get some outdoor exercise. A small vegetable garden and some lawn cutting took care of that, or alternatively, we could use the local park for a running track and other amenities.
Walking trails are possibly a distraction for the fact that community parks are not being provided as they should be, according to a stipulation that developers were to use a certain percentage of the area of new developments for a park.
In some cases, such percentage was not sufficient or reasonable, so instead a cash in lieu would be made to the city. Apparently those amounts were to be combined and when sufficient, a local park would be created for the new inhabitants.
Another negative result from the walking trails idea is the litter which will be dropped along the way, and the trails’ probable use by bikes, as well as the intrusion by bears and other animals who will take advantage of the trails to more easily come into town.
Possibly one of the important issues to be addressed is the lack of alternate city planning with reasonable-sized housing and a backyard for family activities, along with a small park within walking distance, rather than allowing huge houses to use up most of the lot area. If nothing different is offered or prescribed by zoning qualifications, then we will continue with the same resulting problems including health, quality of family life, higher building costs and intrusion of wild animals to name just a few. However, to establish walking trails into pristine areas is not the answer. Let’s not destroy what little is left.