Letters: River gate unfair and a danger

Writer hopes petition and public opposition will spur Chilliwack council to reopen the gate along the Vedder River.

Re: Gated access to Vedder River

The facts are as follows:

The Vedder Canal Corridor is subject to tidal water.  The Fraser River backs right up to Keith Wilson Bridge making the water dirty.  People not paying attention could be trapped out on gravel bars not realizing water was creeping up around them.  Upstream from the canal, the swifter moving water washes down the silt and floating objects into the slower moving canal leaving snags everywhere.  Entering the river here, you come off a six-foot muddy embankment and step into mud up to your knees.  You are lucky if you don’t step into pockets of quicksand.  High marsh grasses hide logs and other hazards to trip and fall over.  Plus it is an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes.  The highway noise under the bridge is deafening.  Let’s not forget vehicles have toppled off the bridge in the past.  Each bridge has three massive log jams which affect the currents and also puts people at risk.

There are no good swimming holes between Keith Wilson Bridge and Vedder Canal Highway Bridge.  The top side of the rail bridge has a great 300-yard run of water with pebbles underneath; there are no snags to run into.

Pedestrians have their own walking trail separated by bush paralleling the access road to the rail bridge.  The Rotary Trail gave them 5.4 km of the original road against the river’s edge already.

Sharon [Gaetz], just who are the provincial officials and what values have changed?  A parking lot at the rail bridge would be far better.  Your excuse is it is Crown land.  You have already pushed the other parking lots onto Crown land.  So why is this any different?

Why would residents living on the Chilliwack side of the river drive over to Bergman Rd. in Yarrow and have to contend with the traffic jams at the Vedder Crossing Bridge and the turn off to Cultus Lake.  There are other ways to keep vehicles off the gravel bars than denying access to this area.

People keep signing the petition; don’t let the council take away your rights!  There is a lot at stake right now but just maybe if we’re lucky council will hear our pleas and re-evaluate their decision.

Any members of the public wishing for petition locations, should contact Bonnie at 604-858-9888.

Bonnie Whyte