I thought I would share my experiences of the changes and challenges that have come to my neighbourhood as a result of the construction of Whistle Bend subdivision.
It is disconcerting to never know exactly when and how the construction is going to affect my neighbourhood. One day it’s surveyors and wondering what the sticks mean, and the next it’s clearcutting and dodging bulldozers.
When the $6-million connector road was built, it cut our community walking, dog walking, berry picking, snowshoeing, running path by more than two-thirds. So now the dog walkers have a greatly reduced path to follow, and with that comes lots more dog poop, especially noticeable in the winter.
There is a hill at one end of our road, right by the playground, that used to be a favourite toboggan hill for kids and parents. Recently, massive electrical poles have been placed right down the middle of the hill so now it’s hazardous for tobogganers. This same hill was another exit for getting to greenspace; however, the Whistle Bend connector road has to be navigated to get across Range Road.
There is a city-designated sandy walking trail on the cliffs parallel to the golf course, with views of McIntyre Creek and the headwaters of the Yukon River, where the swans like to feed and the ravens and eagles soar.
A few years ago, this trail was about three to four feet wide until ATVs started to widen the trail to more than eight feet, resulting in full-size trucks climbing the sandy trail in this incredibly beautiful but fragile area.
Signs prohibiting motor vehicles from the area have not been erected.
Remember, this is McIntyre Creek, the same place that Mayor Bev Buckway pledged would be given the highest level of protection.
One day this summer, I walked south down Range Road to observe the construction in routing McIntyre Creek through a new culvert. Of concern was that there was silt flowing into the creek and various wet spots above the culvert on the road. The workmen were standing around looking at the silt flowing into McIntyre Creek trying to figure out what to do. A short time later, observing from the cliff, I could see the silt from McIntyre Creek pouring into the Yukon River.
This makes me think of the great swath of clearcutting that is going on in the new Whistle Bend subdivision. With the exception of the perimeter of the subdivision, I don’t see any trees. I guess people haven’t heard about the health benefits of being in a pine grove, especially for children.
So now the latest intrusion to our neighbourhood is that the new power line that goes down our toboggan hill is also going to cut a swath down the other toboggan/biking/walking trail on the opposite side of the playground.
I believe this is close to the other infill area, where they plan to build 10 to 15 houses on what is left of our neighbourhood greenspace.
Apparently, the McIntyre Road area off Mountainview will become a road with more infilling in this sensitive wildlife corridor where people can experience the outdoors. Makes me think of the beautiful but dead 40-pound otter on Mountainview Road last year.
The walking trail parallel to north Range Road will probably disappear too once road reconstruction starts up that way.
It’s all very sad and hurts to see the changes in our neighbourhood and the special areas bordering Whistle Bend.
Walking down the sidewalk inhaling exhaust fumes doesn’t compare to walking in the great outdoors. Is this considered progress?
I invite mayor and council, city administrators and realtors to give me a call and take a walk in my world.
A neighbour on my street who lived in North Vancouver said that city did the same thing there - took away the greenspaces - only later to realize the error of its ways.
It is now trying to undo what it did there.