By Nikki Jamieson
During the regular meeting of the Municipal District of Taber council on May 10, council received a letter from Barnwell Mayor Eric Jensen, on behalf of the Village of Barnwell council, dated May 4.
According to the letter, Barnwell council is currently in the middle of the planning stages to install a trail network around the village boundaries and along lower-volume M.D. roads. The idea is to give both the village and nearby residents a safe place to walk, bike, jog or rollerblade.
Barnwell council has noticed a trend of residents using Heritage Road/Range Road 174 to go to Huckleberry Road or Highway 3A. They hope to be able to loop a trail from Heritage Road west to 12 Avenue/Township Road 94A to Range Road 175, then south to Highway 3A then east along Township Road 94/3 Avenue, before connecting to another trail around the school. However, since both Heritage Road and Huckleberry Road carry a substantive amount of high-speed traffic, this poses safety concerns.
“One of the challenges that Barnwell is facing now is basically they’re using the roads as walkways,” said Brian Brewin, Reeve for the M.D. “So it’s more for safety. Get the kids, get people walking off the main road and onto the side.”
Therefore, Barnwell council is asking for the M.D.’s help with the trail as the roadways in the M.D. are upgraded, and since Township Road 94A is on the list for this year, they feel it would be a great opportunity to construct that portion of the trail.
“We’ll have to check with the local landowners, and make sure that that’s available and they be willing to give that up. Then, (Barnwell council) will try to design it when we do our road,” said Brewin. “It will be a project we kind of did with the road building. It’s kind of a win-win.”
“Certainly the popularity of trails is growing, it seems to be a popular, I wouldn’t call it a sport, but a pastime.”
Barnwell council also requested that the M.D. provide them with an estimate on extending their road upgrade by 200 metres into town limits to Cemetery Road/6 Street West. M.D. council approved a motion to direct staff to examine the right of way and attain the right of way for construction of walking trails around the Village of Barnwell.