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Trail safety to be addressed

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In Barrie
Sep 17th, 2010
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By Leigh Blenkhorn Barrie Advance Sep 15, 2010
BARRIE – The city has agreed to take a closer look at the state of the North Shore Trail.
On Monday, council voted to start a public consultation process that will look at vegetation management, safety, public access and overall enjoyment of the trail.
The original plan called for staff to only work with residents who have adopted the trail and provide updates on the trail’s master plan, but Coun. Mike Ramsay said more needs to be done.
“The majority of residents say (the plan) just doesn’t go far enough to address their concerns,” he said. “It doesn’t go far enough to address the concerns for public safety.”
Ramsay said the city’s current North Shore Trail Vegetation Management Plan is not working, and crews can’t keep up with the vegetation growth, causing a safety issue.
“The point is to continue the public consultation process, call for a review of the existing plan and allow for input from the public,” he said.
Coun. Barry Ward was against the idea, saying it went against what council had previously decided.
“We had a public consultation… and at that point, the whole idea was that the trail should be left largely in a natural state,” he said. “This amendment is saying in the future, the focus should not be on the environment and preserving the natural state, but the focus will be on safety, access and the general enjoyment of the trail as a priority. It’s shifting it.”
Mayor Dave Aspden was in favour of the amendment.
“What’s the point of having a trail if people don’t feel safe on it?” he said.
City staff will now look at the issue and come back to the community services committee with a report.

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