An open house held to release recommendations on how to motorize the KVR through the Town of Princeton attracted 46 participants who shared their views last week.
Mayor Spencer Coyne said 23 of those people were from Princeton, and 23 were from the surrounding area.
Based on color coded stickers that were placed on each of 15 recommendations, the overwhelming majority of those present approved of the committee’s findings.
Those findings include setting the speed limit on the KVR at 15 km an hour, and installing traffic lights at the tunnel.
“I was excited with how many people showed up,” said Coyne.
However at least one interested party expressed “disappointment” that he was not able to attend, and didn’t know it was happening.
Jerome Tjerkstra, who is circulating a petition to keep the trail closed to motorized vehicles, said: “I was surprised and disappointed that I was not aware of the public consultation,” he told The Spotlight.
The meeting was not advertised in the paper, he noted.
“I wasn’t aware of the meeting through the usual channels.”
Coyne said the meeting was promoted on the town’s message board, the town’s website, and on posters.
He also shared the meeting date on social media.
Coyne expressed his frustration with the controversy surrounding the issue.
“It really gets on my nerves…I’m really disappointed in some of the allegations towards council members.”
The trail committee, appointed by council last fall as one of its first official acts following the municipal election, is mandated under its terms of reference to hold a public consultation.
Chairman Ed Vermette said he believes the meeting had a good turnout, and the committee has fulfilled the requirement.
He did not get into specifics about how the event was advertised.
“I don’t know what kind of answer you want from me. I wasn’t given a budget for this. My responsibilities were to chair a meeting and that is it.”
Vermette said there was little feedback shared verbally during the two hour open house.
“I didn’t get too much feedback. A couple of people had concerns and [other] people tried to address that.”
Vermette said the recommendations will likely go to council for consideration in the next month, and he was unsure if the committee will amend any of their suggestions following the consultation process.
Some of they recommendations are as follows:
• That Bylaw 925 remains in place as it addresses many issues and the mandate of the committee. The Committee recommends that the Town of Princeton needs to revise Bylaw 925 to clarify which motorized vehicles will remain excluded such as on-highway licensed motor vehicles.
• That Bylaw 925 includes the KVR through the community as the designated route. The KVR trail route was finalized at first meeting and is the only route available.
•The trail should be widened where necessary to allow passing of all users. Specific areas along the trail to be widand A&W are encroaching on the rail.
•That Bylaw 925 is amended to change speed limit from 20 km per hour to 15 km per hour.
•That the crossing at Ace Hardware be adjusted for the safety of all users. Ensure Town is aware of need to adjust at the road crossing for safety.
•Stop signs be placed on both sides of the main intersections of the trail. Intersections include crossing on Old Hedley Road, at Ace Hardware, and at Burton Avenue.
• If permitted, the clubs could or would help with maintenance of the trail.
• Funding is possible from local clubs, but deadlines for 2019 have passed. Local clubs are currently fund raising for mixed trails including the town portion of the KVR
•The local RCMP were contacted and will enforce the OVR act which is outlined in Bylaw 925. These laws are enforceable to operate an OVR as is outlined in Bylaw 925 and it is the responsibility of operators to understand and adhere to.
• The Tunnel is a bottleneck area for all users. It is our recommendation to council to install cross walk lights at both ends with a push button. This will allow walkers, cyclist and horseback riders to access the trail safely. Motorized users should stop when lights are flashing and turn their machine lights off. Motorized accessing the tunnel when safe to do so, should turn headlights on and proceed. All other users should wait their turn and proceed when safe to do so.
• That cyclists using the trail within town boundaries must be equipped with a bell. The bell must be used to signify when passing pedestrians. Bell or Yell. Some bicycles might not have a bell but could give a verbal warning to other users of their approach. A verbal warning is preferable to a bell when approaching horses.
• That local clubs help maintain safety by helping to police the trail through education and peer pressure.
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