Re: CN Kelowna-Vernon railway right-of-way. I am writing on behalf of the volunteer group Walk Around Lake Country, which has successfully developed and promoted more than 25 kilometres of trails in Lake Country over the last 15 years.
While we lament the possible loss of CN’s railway servicing local businesses, it opens up exciting possibilities far greater for the Okanagan region.
With the CN rail right-of-way (connecting Vernon to Kelowna) currently in the process of abandonment we would like to voice our strong support for this extremely valuable and important transportation corridor being bought and/or controlled by one or all levels of government and kept as a non-motorized transportation corridor.
This amazing pathway would connect Vernon, Lake Country and Kelowna with a healthy, green, active transportation pathway.
It would also be a major tourist attraction which is evidenced in the many communities where this has happened: Galloping Goose trail in Victoria and the KVR, just to name a few. The views along Kalamalka, Wood and Duck lakes would put this on the world map as an incredible biking, hiking destination.
This would also safely connect several major parks in the area from Kalamalka Lake Park, Pelmewash Parkway and the trails of Spion Kop and Knox Mountain.
This incredible resource could be marketed to attract visitors from around the world with endless possibilities which would help to prosper this area.
It goes right by the Kelowna airport. Imagine flying in from Europe and biking to your destination.
Its benefit to each of the communities along the way would include attracting people who want to live in a community with access to this healthy form of safe, green transportation.
Just as any major form of transportation improvement from highway to rapid transit, there will be increased usage, promoting development along the corridor.
This abandoned railway corridor must remain a transportation corridor for the public and must not be allowed to be sold off into separate private pieces.
We implore and support all levels of government to act quickly and decisively to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that this amazing community connector stays as a vital transportation link.
It would not only serve the needs of today but for future generations as well, promoting a green and healthy way to live.
WALC is willing to support this exciting new transportation corridor in whatever way we can.
H. Dev Fraser,
Walk Around Lake Country