Advertisement

Odell Park proposed plan revised following concern from local cyclists

Mike Davis the owner of Radical Edge says the lack of green space for leisure activities in the Odell plan is concerning.
Mike Davis the owner of Radical Edge says the lack of green space for leisure activities in the Odell plan is concerning. Megan Yamoah / Global News

Fredericton, N.B. has updated a proposed plan for the evolution of Odell and Killarney parks, after the first one fell flat with many locals, including cyclists.

“It was too skewed towards conservation, I believe there is enough park there for everyone,” said Mike Davis, owner of Radical Edge bike shops.

Read more: Fredericton wading pools, splash pad to remain closed for the summer

The plan presented in February divided the park into three areas: conservation, natural and recreational use. It also planned to decommission eight km of unauthorized bike trails that were said to be damaging the park environment.

“The way it all was presented to us in the beginning, was that we were wrecking Odell Park, between ourselves and the disc golf players,” said Davis.

Story continues below advertisement

The lack of green space for leisure activities in the Odell plan caused a string of complaints from residents that cycle on the south-side trails, according to city officials.

Read more: COMMENTARY: The pandemic has more people riding bikes — here’s how to keep it that way

“There were over 230 emails that we received. We went through them and took notes and made the adjustments needed,” said Henri Mallet, councillor for Ward 12.

The city’s new plan addresses concerns about increased visitation, stress on important habitat, and aging infrastructure. It also proposes a limited number of biking trails in the park, mostly on the outskirts of the 160-hectare property.

Local cyclists say the plan for winter months still needs some work.

Mike Davis outside his bike shop in downtown Fredericton
Mike Davis outside his bike shop in downtown Fredericton. Megan Yamoah / Global News

“In the wintertime, there needs to be an understanding as to what’s OK, because you’ll probably see almost as many cyclists in there in the wintertime if not more than you do in the summertime,” said Davis.

Story continues below advertisement

 

Saint John council cuts nearly $1.8 million from fire services budget
Saint John council cuts nearly $1.8 million from fire services budget

To avoid these issues going forward, Davis suggests local consultation for proposed changes, but all-in-all he’s happy with the newly drafted plan.

Read more: HRM’s ‘slow streets’ initiative creating more space for physical distancing

“It seems like its respective of all parties, it’s giving everybody a little bit of what they’d like,” said Davis.

City council will vote on the plans at the next meeting on July 13.