Letters: Locked gate brings welcomed relief on Vedder trail

Blocking off river access to vehicles everywhere is long overdue and unfortunately necessary, reader says.

City of Chilliwack employees arrive at a newly installed gate along the Vedder Trail on Monday. The gate prevents vehicles from accessing the river of the parking area near Hooge Road

City of Chilliwack employees arrive at a newly installed gate along the Vedder Trail on Monday. The gate prevents vehicles from accessing the river of the parking area near Hooge Road

Re: River gate prompts petition, (Chilliwack Progress, April 20)

Last week while my four year old and I were riding our bikes along the Rotary Trail east of the train bridge, I wondered why we were not seeing the usual questionable looking people parked by the river, garbage, people drinking, and enormous amounts of noise and dust caused by vehicles going too fast on the gravel road. When my son and I came out of the trail onto the access road, I was pleasantly surprised to find a gate across the road, explaining why we hadn’t seen any of the previously mentioned things.

Why Ms. Whyte chose to use the word “horror” upon finding this gate is beyond belief and very melodramatic. I wonder if she has ever experienced horror if this is how she describes a gate that is protecting a fragile environment from “outdoorsmen” who just need to drive their trucks into the river to be able to fish. I wonder if she has ever volunteered to take part in the river’s day cleanups that occur here or has any idea of the amount of damage and illegal activities that take place in areas like this.

Unfortunately, everyone pays the price for the actions of a few and society can only move as fast as the slowest (most irresponsible) person. Does she and Mr. Clarke actually think that their desire to access the river here takes precedence over trying to keep people from damaging it for everyone else?

Perhaps she would like to volunteer to unlock the gate in the morning for people that “need” to drive their vehicles right down to this particular part of the river. Then, at dusk, she could go back there, get all the partyers and drug users to leave, and lock the gate.

While my son and I were at this spot last week and enjoying doing things that four year olds like to do at the river, I thought how nice it was that we didn’t have to step over car parts, broken glass, and garbage. (Just a couple piles of pallet nails from…..you guessed it).

I ask myself, why do these people have the mobility issues they speak of? Lack of exercise? I’ve been riding the areas around that river multiple times a week since before there was a Rotary Trail and used to be one of the “young punks” who would drive my truck into the river wherever I could.

Blocking off river access to vehicles everywhere is long overdue and unfortunately necessary. I am not so self-centered and arrogant that I am not willing to give up some of my enjoyment for the sake of protecting that beautiful river from further abuse.

If Ms. Whyte or Mr. Clarke would like me show them other places on the river where their “needs” can be met, I can do that too.

 

Mike Dobson