Trails BC wants bigger Coquitlam trek

Coquitlam resident Leon Lebrun on the Traboulay PoCo Trail, in 2012.  - tricity news file photo
Coquitlam resident Leon Lebrun on the Traboulay PoCo Trail, in 2012.
— image credit: tricity news file photo

A provincial group in charge of the Trans Canada Trail through B.C. wants to tap into federal funds to widen part of the Coquitlam trek.

This week, Coquitlam resident Leon Lebrun, the acting president and southwest region director for Trails BC, said his organization wants to apply for legacy cash to tie the trail’s 25th anniversary with Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, in 2017.
At Monday’s council-in-committee meeting, Lebrun said he’d like to see the 1.72 km trail stretch along the north side of Guildford Way —between the Port Moody border to Hoy Creek trail —studied by city staff to make more room for pedestrians and cyclists.
He said the existing on-road bike lane on Guildford is tricky, even for experienced riders like himself. And he suggested a shared off-road route would be beneficial for the four area schools, City Centre residents and visitors to Town Centre Park, where the Evergreen Line will terminate in 2016.
A wider Guildford path “would be better flow for the Trans Canada Trail and a fantastic amenity,” Lebrun told the committee. “There’s no doubt in my mind it would be used extensively.”
A wider route would cost around $200,000, he said, though city staff estimate the bill would be more than double as there are retaining walls along that portion. Coun. Brent Asmundson also said the city may have to expropriate private land.
Further, council last year adopted a 10-year master trail plan, in which there is no proposal for a bigger Guildford link, said Raul Allueva, Coquitlam’s acting general manager of parks and recreation.
As for federal money, Lebrun said Ottawa is offering up to 50% for legacy projects but the criteria is tight. Still, he believes the government will loosen the purse strings as the anniversary date nears.
In the meantime, Lebrun said Trails BC is working on new logo signs for the Trans Canada Trail for 2017 that would promote its 25th year and the country’s 150th.
As well, Trails BC has been given permission to expand its network to include alternatives and loop trails to the Trans Canada Trail, which in the Tri-Cities runs 26 km from Moody Inlet — via Rocky Point Park, Town Centre Park, Coquitlam River Park and Traboulay PoCo Trail — to the Pitt River.
The world’s longest network of recreation trails, the Trans Canada Trail is about 75% complete and national trail groups want to bridge the 6,200 km of gaps by 2017.


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