I’m a long time family pass holder of Heritage Park, and I think it’s one of the best values for family outings in the city.
However, over the past year or two of the major construction at Heritage Park, I’ve been really disappointed with their lack of concern with the safety of pathway users next to the park.
Prior to the construction, the pathway system, which is heavily used by both recreational users and commuters, was a pleasant stretch along a quiet, nicely treed area. There was one intersection where the pathway crossed over the park trolley tracks, and you’d often see passengers on the trolley and pathway users waving to each other.
The park ripped up this section of pathway, and instead of replacing it around the huge new parking lots or along the adjacent new wetlands park, they’ve snaked it between the most heavily used and congested area of the new park entrance. It now lies directly between the park and the new expanded parking lots. It has numerous twists and turns, some of which around bordered on either side by steep ditches. Numerous metal bollards have been placed in the middle of the pathway, and there are a number of stop signs where vehicle traffic now intersects the pathway. Safety concerns with this new pathway section were raised with the park and ignored.
Construction traffic that uses one of the pathway intersections leaves that section of the road covered in thick, slippery mud and gravel. I don’t think that section has been cleaned once, while several other construction sites I pass on my daily commute make visible efforts to keep their construction mess cleaned off the pathways.
The latest safety hazard that the park has implemented is the addition of new black metal bike racks. This would be a great addition if they had been placed off the pathway rather than having them bolted directly on to the path… There is no signage, no warning tape and no warning barricade.
Heritage Park does a fantastic job of preserving and displaying our history, but a cyclist, rollerblader or runner out at night suddenly colliding with these racks could “become history” themselves.