LETTER: Take back the dikes, says resident

A town project is what’s needed along waterways

Editor:

There is much talk in Hope of attracting new development, increasing tourism and searching for new ideas as the mayor stressed in one of his discussions.

However, new ideas and change seem to come slowly here, it would appear that old mistakes are ignored so as to not ruffle the feathers of those benefiting from them.

A case in point are the dikes along the Coquihalla River, owned and maintained by both the province and the municipality, but encroached upon by property owners who butt up against them, thus blocking access to walkers and those wanting to explore the natural beauties Hope is recognized for.

Having worked in tourism and witnessed the benefits innovation can bring, I’m perplexed that Hope has taken no action to remedy the blocking of a public access to what could be a great attraction for the town, for both residents and visitors.

Here is an opportunity to expand the trail network, particularly the extension of the Rotary trail which now culminates at the Old Hope Princeton highway. An extension of this trail could use the dike surface making an excellent wide trail, perhaps suitable for those with disabilities too.

A town project could expand the trail via a bridge to connect with the tunnel trail (Trans Canada Trail)

For many years travelling through B.C. I’ve been impressed with what small communities can do, notably in this instance with city paths. Golden B.C., Princeton B.C. and tiny Kaslo B.C. are prime examples. All have much smaller populations than Hope but have developed amazing and popular attractions using the dike trails in Golden and Kaslo and the bike/pedestrian trails in Princeton, constructing unique bridges using local crafts people and volunteers. Can you imagine Richmond or Coquitlam reserving their dikes for private use?

So, let’s take back our dikes and open up the river to everyone. I’m sure these are not original ideas but one, I hope, that can be looked at more closely. Your call council.

Stan Kirkpatrick

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