Mission needs more urban walking trails

The needs of the whole district must be taken into consideration

Editor, The Record:

Re: Area residents don’t want trail network, Aug. 16 edition.

For the second time this year I read that some Cedar Valley residents are asking council not to build trails in their neighbourhoods despite the trails being part of the overall community plan.

Urban trails are valuable and contribute greatly to a community. They encourage people to be active and interact with nature. They bring neighbours together on the paths.

This trail network was part of the Cedar Valley Comprehensive Development plan laid out long before the residents moved in. Many other cities have extensive urban trail networks that encompass many neighbourhoods.

Abbotsford, for instance, boasts of over 100 kilometres of trails including the 35 kilometre Discovery trail.

I often take my daughter bike riding on that trail and see many people enjoying it. Local residents have taken pride in the trail and signs indicate their active stewardship.

The trails are clean and I have never encountered problems. Mission has only a few very short sections of trail spread out throughout the city. In order to get to a more substantive trail system, one must drive to Heritage Park or venture into the municipal forest which is geared more towards hikers and bikers.

The district has a responsibility to all residents as a whole. Mission is lacking in urban trails and Cedar Valley was an area that was identified as having the potential to include more. I suggest that the district needs to investigate other community trail networks and find out how they have made them successful.

District staff should also examine their own parks and recreation master plan which outlines how to make trails safe and neighbourhood friendly. They need to educate local residents on the importance and value of these trails, and finally, they must maintain them to a standard that discourages misuse and demonstrates their value.

These trails were meant for all Mission residents and any decisions must be made with this in mind.

Bruce Schmor