Monday, 15 August 2011

This Is Coquitlam- the Saga Continues:Trails Travails

(email to the Parks Board)  


"Recreational trails are a vital component of a healthy city, and are one the [sic] most requested recreation facilities in Coquitlam." In fact the trails in Coquitlam are dismayingly mediocre. Your web site misleadingly states that the so-called "Coquitlam Crunch*... connects Eagle Ridge Park to Eagle Mountain Park," whereas the truth is that hikers are required to traverse a rather busy and treacherous section of roadway (Eagle Mountain Drive) if they wish to continue on from the top of the "Crunch" to Eagle Mountain Park. This roadway, some two to three kilometres in length, has almost no allowance for pedestrians, who must wade into the ditches and tall grass and even jump over concrete barriers to avoid oncoming cars. Additionally, during summer months the cars tend to stir up staggering amounts of choking dust on the unpaved portion of the road, often rendering the hiker all but invisible to the following traffic. Try to imagine the cloud of silicate enveloping someone hapless enough to have timed their hike at the end of some softball game, and then maybe you'll want to rethink that bit about a "healthy city." 
The trails at Eagle Mountain Park are themselves disappointing, not to say disappearing. One of them is little more than a paved road through yet another of the ubiquitous Plateau golf courses. Every time I'm up there I'm stopped by people trying to find out where they can go from the parking lot. I generally tell them that what they see is what they get and refer them to a sign some half kilometre down the golf road. (THAT sign is out of date, out of place and out of space, and FYI is the first directory I've seen boasting TWO "You Are Here" stars!) An updated directory would be nice THERE, at the head of the parking area, not on some golf cart road-cum-trail that visitors can't even see from the entrance area. I have watched bewildered visitors stumble around a bit and then get back in their cars completely nonplussed at the idea of calling two baseball fields a trails park.
   Coquitlam has sold its soul to the automobile - and golf cart; it's the most car-crazed and pedephobic "community" I've ever lived in, and its shabby pretenses at being green and physical are laughable. Coquitlam Parks, take a hike!


*It should be noted that this trail is actually part of the hydro right-of-way, and as such is, strictly speaking, not even a part of Coquitlam but rather a provincial crown asset.

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