The spring Info Burnaby newsletter published a full-page spread on the merits of a proposed linear park running along the east side of Willingdon Avenue between Hastings Street and the Brentwood mall. A multi-use trail is envisioned to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians and joggers. One can imagine the conflict that will occur between this group of users!
It is also proposed that seating and “gathering” areas be developed along this linear parkway – all adjacent to one of the busiest vehicular corridors in North Burnaby. One questions the safety of pedestrians, especially children, unless a formidable fence is installed.
Mayor Derek Corrigan has indicated this project will be funded by community benefit funds, as provided by building developers, hence there will be no cost to taxpayers. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that for many years the City of Burnaby has spent a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money, purchasing many properties along the aforesaid route, with a view to accommodating rapid transit. Rapid transit along this route, being no longer considered a priority, has opened the door for the proposed linear parkway. However, I submit that prior consideration for said route should have been given to the construction of suitable housing along the route, to accommodate the huge number of low-income families who cannot afford to purchase the boxy, highly expensive apartments being erected throughout Burnaby. Further, the cost of rental accommodation is also beyond the reach of the unfortunate low-income earners. Economical housing situated at the southeast corner of Confederation Park would be an ideal proposal for the east side of Willingdon Avenue.
Mike Horton, Burnaby