Scenic walkways don’t come cheap

Instead of asking the Village of Ashcroft the same question over and over again, maybe the walkway supporters need to be raising money.

Ashcroft Council is struggling with the fact that prosperity comes with a price.

In this case, the properity means additional truck traffic on Evans Road, also known as the slough road. And the price is the unhappiness of towns people who like to walk and jog along the otherwise quiet road that borders the river.

I’ve been walking that road for years, taking pictures of the ducks and geese on the river, the marmots hiding on the rocks, the chukars crossing the road, the eagles, osprey, hawks and kestrals that perch here and there while they wait for their lunch to fly or swim by.

I get along with the truck and other four-wheeled traffic just fine. I figure I should be safe as long as I walk next to the cement barricade because no one is going to knowingly drive into it.

I don’t walk there as much as I used to due to the growing numbers of pedestrians who have discovered Evans Road. More people out walking with their dogs and children mean my critters aren’t going to hang around to have their pictures snapped.

But the Village is getting more and more requests for a safe pedestrian walkway on a road that is already almost too narrow for two-laned traffic. Let’s face it, the road is stuck between a river and a hill with CP train tracks on it.

A walkway can be built, but not without a huge amount of money. Perhaps the requests could be going to Ashcroft Terminal instead, or the businesses that use the terminal, for funding to build some creative pathway using engineering ingenuity.

Hopefully such a magnificent walkway will not detract from the beautiful setting, nor draw such a crowd of users that everyone will need an appointment to take their peaceful daily walk.

To start with, the new drivers on Evans Road needs to be told by their employer that pedestrian safety is paramount. And pedestrians need to follow the basic rules of the road and walk facing traffic and not all over the road.

After that, we can put our heads together to come up with a solution that everyone can live with.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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