|looking south towards Bishop Grandin|
|bridge over stormy water ditch|
A large part of the cost is due to the bridge spanning the storm water ditch that runs along Bishop Grandin. The bridge seems over-engineered for a walking/biking trail to me. Workers have been building that bridge or whatever you want to call it for several months, and have constructed it much like a road bridge over a creek. Installing a prefabricated walking bridge likely would have cost a fraction of the half-million dollars or so that this thing cost, but perhaps they want it to be able to support vehicular traffic -- an ambulance in emergency situations, for example, or an escape route for Niakwanians trapped by a derailed crude oil train.
The primary purpose of this path is to allow kids to safely walk from their homes in Royalwood to schools in Southdale. Previously they would take a shortcut through the ditch or walk along the railway tracks if there was water in the ditch. Somebody who grew up in a small prairie town might say: 'what's the big deal? Just don't go on the tracks if a train is coming.' But I guess there is a new safety standard these days. Everyone is all like 'don't go on the tracks' or 'wear your helmet' or 'don't play with the guns'. Where will it stop? I don't know but I won't complain because this new path personally benefits me.
I run. I bike. I rollerblade. I use the trails in Winnipeg all the time, and I would love to see a network of functional paths connecting the city, allowing people to get around with minimal interaction with traffic, if such a thing is feasible. They need to be functional and well designed though. (Note: a two-meter wide path with a red-light camera stuck in the middle of it is neither ...)
We've made great strides in the past 5 years, but much like Winnipeg's roads, old trails crumble as new ones are built.
This nameless path is less than half a kilometer from the spiffy new trail shown earlier. Sometimes older cracked paths are repaired temporarily with tar that gets soft and sticky in the sun and the heat. Sometimes paths -- those that are forgotten or deemed less important -- are simply left to break apart. Rarely is a path torn up and redone (although I have seen one example lately).
Even trails that were built only a few years ago have large cracks running through them. This is a reminder that, like our roads, we need to be able to maintain and occasionally rebuild the new infrastructure in addition to the existing stuff. As the network grows, this cost will grow too. It's not slowing down either, as new developments like Bridgwater Forest incorporate trail accessibility into their neighbourhood design.
All things considered, I think