Sled cor­ri­dor in park a good com­pro­mise

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - OPINION -

Tim­mins coun­cil’s de­ci­sion this week to cre­ate a snow­mo­bile path through hollinger Park has, on the sur­face, the dis­tinct odour of bend­ing to law­break­ers.

af­ter all, this de­ci­sion comes af­ter sev­eral weeks of in­ci­dents where snow­mo­bil­ers were il­le­gally driv­ing through the park, dam­ag­ing the sk8te hollinger rink and wreck­ing some of the elec­tri­cal in­fra­struc­ture associated with it. so how did the city re­spond? Coun­cil ap­proved a cor­ri­dor through the park to ac­com­mo­date snow­mo­bil­ers. it sounds a bit weak-kneed and sor­did. But in re­al­ity, it is ac­tu­ally a good com­pro­mise, a win-win sit­u­a­tion, which coun­cil ironed out with the Tim­mins snow­mo­bile Club.

it is also im­por­tant to keep in mind in all of this that snow­mo­bil­ers and snow­mo­bil­ing tourism is greatly val­ued in our com­mu­nity.

The dual fenced cor­ri­dor through the park will pro­vide snow­mo­bil­ers with ac­cess off the main trail to the shell gas sta­tion to fuel up, while keep­ing the ma­chines away from the sk8te hollinger rink.

The snow­mo­bile club has agreed to main­tain and groom the trail with its own equip­ment.

The cor­ri­dor would es­sen­tially en­close the park from the north­ern edge of the Brunette road en­trance and curv­ing to cre­ate a fenced bar­rier along al­go­nguin Boule­vard lead­ing to the gas sta­tion.

Ken Pye, the op­er­a­tor of the sk8te hollinger out­door rink, raised this as a con­cern, say­ing the bar­rier would pre­vent skaters from con­ve­niently be­ing able to leave the park from the Brunette-algonquin in­ter­sec­tion.

surely a small open­ing could be cre­ated along the cor­ri­dor that would en­able pedes­tri­ans to safely cross at that point.

af­ter all, the speed limit for snow­mo­biles through parks, which is man­dated by the On­tario Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion, is 20 km/h and an ap­proach­ing snow­mo­bile can be eas­ily heard. There is no ex­cuse. The onus could be placed on the pedes­trian not walk­ing in the path of an on­com­ing snow­mo­bile.

as Mayor steve Black noted dur­ing the meet­ing, it is in ev­ery­one’s best in­ter­est to make this work.

“When you look at what our city is, largely about en­joy­ing the great qual­ity of life we have, and the out­door recre­ation,” he said, “i think this is a po­ten­tial great part­ner­ship to re­solve an is­sue and to pro­vide safe ac­cess for both users of that area.” — Ron Grech Rgrech@post­media.com

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