10 Good Reasons the Rail Trail in Almonte Should be Limited to Active Transportation
by Chris George
Although it may presently be proving a challenge to realize, an OVRT bypass around the neighbourhoods and downtown core of Almonte makes perfect sense because it removes the “motorized versus non-motorized” conflict and accommodates all local residents and those travelling along the trail.
Here are 10 good reasons for establishing a greenway through Almonte, designated for active transportation use.
- SAFETY FIRST – Surveys tell us that 70% of the traffic on a trail is local users. The establishment of a greenway ensures the safety of all users from 8 to 80 years of age, including those with mobility challenges.
- A great majority – 88% – of the local residents in Almonte want a non-motorized trail through Almonte neighbourhoods and downtown, according to the email responses received by County during their public consultation sessions of March 1, 2017.
- A great majority – 92% – of downtown Almonte merchants do not want motorized traffic on the trail through the downtown core according to a local business survey conducted in May 2017.
- Dr. Paula J. Stewart, Lanark County’s Medical Officer of Health, recognizes an accessible trail through Almonte will “greatly contribute to health and quality of life” for all local residents, including seniors, children and those residents with disabilities, who require a safe paved trail.
- The Almonte greenway will be a feature of Lanark County’s commitment to active transportation and accessible trails. (Currently the only trail designated as accessible is in Perth.)
- The Almonte greenway will promote greater physical activity as the local residents will have a safe neighbourhood pathway to enjoy – child cycling, mothers and babies strolling, and seniors walking.
- Shoppers and tourists will enjoy walking the new downtown feature greenway, which becomes an extension of Almonte’s Riverwalk.
- The Almonte greenway will be an attractive draw to Ottawa cyclists and cycle tourists who will be able to enjoy a safe, motor-free route.
- Regarding bypasses both east and west of the community, a bypass is an attractive (and established) route for motorized users, with gas stations, convenience stores and places to eat – offering much more than the route through downtown Almonte, without gas or convenience stores on the trail.
- On two occasions, Mississippi Mills Council supported OVRT bypass solutions. All 4 Almonte Ward Councillors are in favour of a bypass. The establishment of a greenway for active transportation through Almonte is the will of the people and their elected representatives.