A few weeks ago, the permanent new pathway section by Heritage Park was put in place.
Early in the construction of the new buildings at Heritage Park, the old pathway was torn up and a number of temporary pathway sections were put in and taken out as construction progressed.
The old pathway was good. It cut across the old tram tracks, and was relatively smooth and straight as it took you from the reservoir to the Eagle Ridge residential area.
Early on, I expressed a couple of concerns to Heritage Park that the new pathway section they’d put in place was going to cause some potential safety issues on the pathway, as it was right between the new buildings and the new parking lots. After parking, all the people were being fed onto the pathway system without any notification they were on a section of the city pathway, and not a Heritage Park pathway. I was told that was just a temporary solution. I asked to see an electronic copy of the proposed final pathway, as that section is a key piece of the commuter route from the S.W. but was never sent anything.
So, now the new pathway is in place. Instead of a relatively straight section, there are now 8 bollards, 5 sharp turns and 6 intersections with other roads, pathway intersects and crosswalks. Two bollards are placed right in the middle of the arc of a curve. One of the sharp turns has a nicely landscaped “pit” at the arc — if you don’t notice the sudden turn, you’re going to end up in the pit. Bollards also spread large groups of pedestrians and runners out across the entire pathway, as they split and flow around the obstruction.
This new pathway is probably one of the most dangerous and poorly planned sections of pathway infrastructure I’ve seen in the city, and I’m amazed that the Parks & Rec department even approved it.
As a regular cycle commuter and a long time family season’s pass holder at Heritage Park, I’m also quite disappointed that the park’s executive team only considered what was ideal for the park, and not for the thousands of other people who use the city pathway on a regular basis.
Here’s a short video of that section.