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Editorial: North Vancouver's Spirit Trail to Deep Cove is long overdue

Active transportation options help build healthy communities, alleviate traffic congestion and combat climate change
A 2013 map shows proposed connections for the Spirit Trail to reach from the City of North Vancouver to Deep Cove. Very little progress has been made in the District of North Vancouver. | District of North Vancouver

For most of the last two decades, the District of North Vancouver municipal budgets have been a boring affair – predictable three per cent tax increases to cope with inflation and renewing infrastructure.

Taxpayers may like boring budgets but as council learned on Monday, sometimes citizens demand more.

Council has upped this year’s tax increase 5.25 per cent, allocating more funding to artificial turf fields and the Spirt Trail connection to Deep Cove. Good.

The Spirit Trail began as a vision more than a decade ago to offer a car-free way of traversing the entire North Shore. Today, in the City of North Vancouver, the job is pretty much done, including the engineering and logistical feat of crossing the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw’s (Squamish Nation) Mosquito Creek Marina.

The District of North Van has made some progress. We love the new bridge over Lynn Creek. But, east of the Seymour, successive councils haven’t lifted a finger and it shows. Riding along either Dollarton Highway or Mount Seymour Parkway is a hairy experience, bordering on deadly.

It’s a hangover from a 1950s way of looking at transportation when absolutely every trip out of the home would be made in a personal automobile. If we only knew then what we know now about climate change and traffic congestion.

The district has been long, long overdue in making a change that acknowledges there should be an option for safe, active transportation. Once people are convinced it’s safe to get from Point A to Point B on a bike, they’ll have a chance to see just how much fun it is.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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