By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Following the Yellow Brick Road, was how Dorothy met up with the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow — on her way to meet the Wizard of Oz.
It may not be a Yellow Brick Road, quite yet, but plans are in the works for an inter-community pathway between the City of Lethbridge and Coaldale.
The Inter-Community Pathway Committee paid a visit to a recent Lethbridge County council meeting held May 19 to strum up support and to ask the county to undertake administration for grant research and applications for the ambitious endeavour.
Council passed the motion to get the ball rolling and to further investigate the proposed pathway between communities.
An integrated development study was completed several years ago, said Greg Farries from the committee. The study, Farries added, took a look at the region between Coaldale and Lethbridge.
“One of the major considerations was with regards to storm water. The Town of Coaldale, of course, has seen a lot of storm water over the years and it’s largely because it was put there back in the steam rail days. It was a good place to stop the train to fill up with water and that’s why Coaldale is at a bit point low,” said Farries.
He added the study also took a look at the Malloy Drain and what conflicts exist and why it is flooding.
One potential idea for a pathway connecting Lethbridge to Coaldale is via the Coaldale main ditch, along Highway 3, with an anchor point on each end.
One anchor point identified is Henderson Lake Park in Lethbridge with a link to the Coaldale pathway system already in place — along the SMRID. One hurdle, with this idea, might be crossing 43 Street South.
“We would need a main level crossing with a traffic light and all the infrastructures there,” he noted. Another locale could be situated along Jail Road and the research station grounds.
Not only would a regional pathway be a place to walk or bike for leisure or to get from one place to another, it could also feature vegetation, bathrooms, benches, robust architecture and learning opportunities along the way about the area and its history.
The delegation noted other locations throughout Canada and across the globe have amazing pathway systems in place including in Ottawa and in the province of Quebec. There is also a pathway system between Canmore and Banff and between Calgary and Chestermere. Medicine Hat also has a pathway system in place.
According to the delegation, the Town of Coaldale has a vision for an overpass on Highway 3, which could be a gateway to various destinations throughout the county, which could include the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre or Broxburn Park.
The vision, the delegation added, is to create a pathway that could ultimately be an attraction for the county to celebrate the region between Coaldale and Lethbridge.
Farries added a regional pathway could create a much higher level of safety.
“For people who are presently biking along the Jail Road heading to Broxburn Park,” he said.
And a bonus could be being able to ride a bike to work or for leisure from Coaldale to Lethbridge or vice versa.