Tuesday, February 20, 2007

These cowboy boots not made for walking...?

Got this from Citizens at City Hall:

"CATCH News – February 19, 2007
Rural cycling and walking trails strenuously opposed by Mitchell

A proposal to use rural hydro corridors as cycling and walking trails was forced off the table today by Glanbrook councillor Dave Mitchell. The move could eliminate up to half of the new multi-use trails called for in the city’s transportation master plan.

“There’s no way I want people riding their bikes or just thinking they can free willy walk across there,” declared Mitchell. “I can’t take my skidoo or ATV on their front lawn and rip the hell out of it, so I don’t want them walking across farmland either.”

The expanded trail network is intended to meet a target in the plan of “increasing the share of daily trips that are made by cycling or walking from the current level of 6% to 15% by 2030” by providing safe routes and promoting active transportation.

The plan presented to public works committee today promises 143 kilometres of new multi-use trails, with over 70 kilometres earmarked for hydro corridors.

But it enraged Mitchell who said he had previously told staff to remove them and had been promised that would happen.

“You cannot dictate to the agricultural community that in 2031 or whenever it is that you’re going to have paths going through the middle of prime agricultural land,” Mitchell declared. “I asked for them to be taken out before. I am led to believe they got put back in by mistake, but they should not go out to the public with them in here because it’s hugely misleading.”

Director of capital works, Gerry Davis, agreed that they were “supposed to be deleted” and promised to ensure that happened before the plan is released for a 30 day public comment period required by the environmental assessment process. However, further questioning by committee chair Margaret McCarthy revealed that the trail proposals have been before the public for several months.

“It’s out there in draft from the public meetings in September,” confirmed Davis.

To fulfill the requirements of the class environmental assessment process, the amended transportation master plan will now be released for a 30-day public comment period.

CATCH (Citizens at City Hall) updates use transcripts and/or public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media. Detailed reports of City Hall meetings can be reviewed at www.hamiltoncatch.org. You can receive all CATCH free updates by sending an email to info@HamiltonCATCH.org.


NOTE - This is the same councillor who blamed environmentalists for causing damage in Red Hill Valley by walking on trails - while he supported the building of the red hill creek expressway.

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