The majority of landowners who attending a recent meeting indicated they did not want the proposed KVR trail linking Oliver to Osoyoos opened up in their backyard. But avid cyclist Gail Owen strongly favoured the KVR proposal, saying it will bring a lot of tourist dollars to the area.
The article on the planned cycling and walking trail along the Kettle Valley Railway corridor in the Oliver Chronicle reports:
Parks and facilities coordinator Justin Shuttleworth said the goal with the trail acquisition is to link communities together, and the best way to do that is to utilize this rail-trail corridor.
Shuttleworth noted that various on-site meetings have been held with affected landowners along the route.
Concerns include increase in crime, loss of crops, negative impact on land values and the safety of trail users.
However the article goes on to state:
Area C director Terry Schafer said he cycled the Naramata section of the KVR and most of it was fenced off from properties. He noted there are signs addressing the farm safety issue and gates that can be closed when required.
“There was a lot of controversy when it (the trail) was planned, but it’s a beautiful asset now,” Schafer said.
The above concerns are often brought up regarding trails and paths. However, experience has shown that trails are a real asset for communities increasing property values and improving the local economy.
Research from the National Partnership Training Partnership on Trail Effects on Neighborhoods: Home Value, Safety, Quality of Life found:
Homeowners nationwide express the same concerns and fears about proposed trails in their neighborhoods. But studies in various parts of the United States seem to show that concerns about trails lowering property values and increasing crime are unfounded. In fact, trails have consistently been shown to increase (or have no effect on) property values, to have no measurable effect on public safety, and to have an overwhelming positive influence on the quality of life for trail neighbors as well as the larger community.
Traversing everything from desert orchards to world-class vineyards, the multi-use trails and world class cycling network in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys will take you through a tour of some of the most diverse and unique landscapes in the province.
It is the goal of the Regional Trails program to foster locally-valued and world-renowned trails that provide exceptional opportunities for recreation and connecting communities in addition to promoting environmental and economic benefits.
More on Regional District of Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen trails plan including maps of existing trails here.
Contact info for the Regional District here.