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Loyalist College backs bike path, won’t support financially

A small volunteer sub-group of Loyalist College's Sustainability Committee is trying to raise $100,000 for a bridge and bike path connecting to the college. Photo by Amanda Lorbetski [1]

A small volunteer sub-group of Loyalist College’s Sustainability Committee is trying to raise $100,000 for a bridge and bike path connecting to the college. Photo by Amanda Lorbetski

By Amanda Lorbetski [2]

BELLEVILLE – Now that Taso Christopher [3] has been chosen as Belleville [4]‘s next mayor, it looks like it’s full speed ahead for a bike path connecting Bridge Street West to the city’s west end [5].

But that path doesn’t go all the way to Loyalist College. And the cost to link to Loyalist College [6] is over $100,000.  Now it’s up to a small group of volunteers to raise that.

The city has already approved their share – an on-road bike path from Bridge Street West to Avonlough Road as part of its Transportation Master Plan released earlier this year.

But that’s where it stops. It’s up to the college to do the rest. Loyalist president Maureen Piercy [7] says the school supports the project, but not financially.

“It’s not a project that the college plans to fund out of capital because we have very limited capital resources.”

Part of the proposed bike route for the city. The green section connecting to Loyalist College will require additional funding that the city will not provide. [8]

Part of the proposed bike route for the city. The green section connecting to Loyalist College will require additional funding that the city will not provide.

So retired Loyalist journalism professor Joe Callahan [9] is leading the effort to bring a bike lane, along with outdoor lighting and a bridge to cross Potter’s Creek on-campus. He says he knows it’s a high fundraising goal, but something he thinks student government and the community will want to get behind.

“The best case scenario, I would say, would be that the bridge would be in place by about a year from now.”

Taso Christopher, a current member of city council and newly-elected mayor of Belleville, says he plans to stick with the project.

“Of course I’ll be supporting.” I mean, at the end of the day, it’s nothing that we’re going to do overnight and there was some challenges during the discussion,” he said. “There was some feedback from residents and councillors that we can’t just do this all at once and that’s a hundred percent correct.”

He says if the path gets approved by the newly-elected council and put in next year’s capital budget, you could see work done as early as next year. Back at Loyalist, the path to fundraising $100,000 is just beginning.

 

Check out the full 91X report below:

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/LOC-Bike-Paths-OCT-30.mp3 [10]

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