EDITORIAL: Rail trail issues must be tackled

Those working behind the scenes must continue to be diligent and ensure they are communicating with the public

It was quite clear from Thursday’s open house in Coldstream that the concept of a recreational corridor along the old Canadian National rail line has significant support.

Comments were glowing, particularly because many of the people perusing the plans were individuals who will use the trail — cyclists and hikers. Many of them also touted the economic opportunities as it’s expected tourists will flock to the amenity.

However, some concerns arose at the Coldstream session, as well as those in Winfield, Oyama and Kelowna.

Chief among them appears to be parking, and that is a legitimate issue for those residents living along or near the route, particularly if the rail trail becomes as popular as expected. The District of Coldstream particularly will have to look at where parking occurs in the Kickwillie Loop/West Kal Road area. Some suggest using the existing Kal Beach parking lot but that’s already a busy spot during the summer.

Another topic that arose Thursday in Coldstream was horseback riders possibly using the trail. That means space will be required for trailers.

Other issues that have surfaced during the open houses are garbage collection, washroom facilities and restricting access to private property.

The great thing about this initiative is there is considerable time for planning and to make sure the trail is developed properly.

But those working behind the scenes must continue to be diligent and ensure they are communicating with the public and addressing any outstanding concerns that surface.