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Groups not on same path on proposed rail trail

By GORDON DELANEY Valley Bureau

Dr. Keith MacCormick sees the old train route through the Annapolis Valley as much more than just a series of steel tracks and abandoned railways.

The Wolfville doctor, president of the Kierans Pathways Society, sees it as a sure-fire way of encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle for residents and visitors.

"We see the rail bed as a big resource, a big opportunity for the Valley," he told Kings County councillors at their December committee of the whole meeting.

The society is lobbying to turn the railway line that runs from Grand Pre to Berwick into an "active transportation" route for non-motorized use, particularly walking, bicycling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The society proposes a 37-kilometre, $2-million asphalt path alongside the rail bed.

The proposal has garnered lots of support but has also generated some controversy. Snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle users want to have the trail to include motorized use.

"One of the big causes of chronic illness is inactivity," Dr. MacCormick told councillors. "We have to get moving."

A study conducted by an Acadia University business professor argues there is an economic case to be made for the walking route. If six per cent of inactive residents used the pathway, it would save $800,000 annually in health-care costs, the study concluded.

The plan calls for the main part of the route to be developed over five years, with other routes added over a 10-year span. While a definite source of funds for the project has not yet been identified, Dr. MacCormick said some funding could come from the provincial Health Department or even through federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure programs.

The group envisions a trail similar to the Centennial Trail on Prince Edward Island.

But the Kierans Pathways’ plan is drawing criticism from people who envision the abandoned rail bed as a multi-use trail open to motorized users.

Robert Wright, president of the Kings County Trails Society, is promoting use of the rail bed as a shared trail.

The society has applied to the Department of Natural Resources for authority to build and manage the rail bed from the western border of Kentville through Coldbrook, Berwick, Kingston and on to the Annapolis County line.

"We believe a trail built with public funds should be available to all users," he told councillors, as more than 70 supporters gathered in the council chambers. Mr. Wright said the trails society has completed an inventory of the rail bed and an engineering study of the seven bridges along the line that would need to be rebuilt or repaired.

He said people already share the trail with motorized vehicles in many areas, except Kentville, where motorized vehicles are prohibited.

The Pathways supporters say vehicles would restrict non-motorized use of the trail, which the trails society disputes.

Council urged the two groups to work together to develop a multi-use trail system.
 

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I was just about to post this.
DOES ANYONE SEE THE SAME BS HERE as EDMUNSTON NB??
You can no longer run the trail through downtown.
The trail walkers have won out.
It is no longer groomed and they cannot use it all winter?? Snow shoe & ski only. No grooming so no walking.

Makes alot of sense to me don't you think??

Ah good old politicians .

Sense means little when the Tree Huggers get going.

My 2 cents rant for the end of 06.

:frech32:
 

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Groups not on same path on proposed rail trail

By GORDON DELANEY Valley Bureau

Dr. Keith MacCormick sees the old train route through the Annapolis Valley as much more than just a series of steel tracks and abandoned railways.

The Wolfville doctor, president of the Kierans Pathways Society, sees it as a sure-fire way of encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle for residents and visitors.

"We see the rail bed as a big resource, a big opportunity for the Valley," he told Kings County councillors at their December committee of the whole meeting.

The society is lobbying to turn the railway line that runs from Grand Pre to Berwick into an "active transportation" route for non-motorized use, particularly walking, bicycling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The society proposes a 37-kilometre, $2-million asphalt path alongside the rail bed.

The proposal has garnered lots of support but has also generated some controversy. Snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle users want to have the trail to include motorized use.

"One of the big causes of chronic illness is inactivity," Dr. MacCormick told councillors. "We have to get moving."

A study conducted by an Acadia University business professor argues there is an economic case to be made for the walking route. If six per cent of inactive residents used the pathway, it would save $800,000 annually in health-care costs, the study concluded.

The plan calls for the main part of the route to be developed over five years, with other routes added over a 10-year span. While a definite source of funds for the project has not yet been identified, Dr. MacCormick said some funding could come from the provincial Health Department or even through federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure programs.

The group envisions a trail similar to the Centennial Trail on Prince Edward Island.

But the Kierans Pathways’ plan is drawing criticism from people who envision the abandoned rail bed as a multi-use trail open to motorized users.

Robert Wright, president of the Kings County Trails Society, is promoting use of the rail bed as a shared trail.

The society has applied to the Department of Natural Resources for authority to build and manage the rail bed from the western border of Kentville through Coldbrook, Berwick, Kingston and on to the Annapolis County line.

"We believe a trail built with public funds should be available to all users," he told councillors, as more than 70 supporters gathered in the council chambers. Mr. Wright said the trails society has completed an inventory of the rail bed and an engineering study of the seven bridges along the line that would need to be rebuilt or repaired.

He said people already share the trail with motorized vehicles in many areas, except Kentville, where motorized vehicles are prohibited.

The Pathways supporters say vehicles would restrict non-motorized use of the trail, which the trails society disputes.

Council urged the two groups to work together to develop a multi-use trail system.[/b]
Good Post Bear800, keep the info coming! We are in danger in Kings Co, this crap has to stop! :div20:
 
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