You may have heard of the proposed Speedvale underpass trail for Guelph. In 2015, council unanimously supported the planning of this trail.
This trail is proposed for those going North/South along the Trans Canada Trail, and then moving freely under the newly built Speedvale bridge. The trail was proposed as a way of having a continuous, barrier free, safe active transportation network for seniors, families, and everyone in between, without having to cross busy traffic at Speedvale.
Despite the Consultant’s report conclusion that the trail, along with mitigating efforts, will result in no negative impact to the significant woodland, or to any endangered species, city staff is recommending that no further studies be done, mainly due to environmental concerns.
Staff also cited safety concerns as a factor because of flooding potential. Flood hazards are a risk with any trail, yet trails are still built in all jurisdictions in floodplains. Furthermore, the safety concerns of crossing busy Speedvale Avenue to get to the other side of the trail, have been ignored in their report.
If the new Speedvale Bridge is built with no accommodation for an underpass trail as the staff is currently recommending, then there will be no chance of a trail under the bridge for 50 + years. It is now or never for this vote to take place.
The staff recommendation to reject any further study of the Speedvale underpass will go before council at the Committee of the Whole at City Hall this Monday, Oct. 2 at 2pm.
GCAT will be urging council to continue moving forward to allow an underpass trail to become part of Guelph’s Active Transportation network.
If you wish to show your concern, please consider delegating or writing a letter to city council (clerks@guelphca. Deadline is 10 am Friday morning) If you are free on Monday afternoon, it is very good for council to see many people in council chambers who support the underpass.
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