Freedom for some puts restrictions on others

Compromise is the only way to ensure everyone’s ability to enjoy the Kettle Valley Railway Trail

The Kettle Valley Railway Trail is one of the true treasures of the South Okanagan, and the sweeping majestic views that one finds while it winds through the rugged terrain is something everyone should have the chance to enjoy.

The issue of shared access to the KVR Trail was the subject of a boisterous public hearing in Naramata last week.

Close to 200 people filled the Naramata Centre last week to catch the first glimpse of a concept plan for the KVR Trail between Naramata and Chute Lake.  The plan, rolled out by provincial trails manager John Hawkings, aims to find resolution to the conflict between motorized and non-motorized users of the trail.

The proposal calls for that stretch of the KVR Trail to be broken into seven sections — with motorized users such as ATV riders limited to two shared-use portions: from Little Tunnel to Glenfir and from Adra Station to Elinor FSR. The plan also calls for improvements to other connecting trails in the area to create more riding opportunities for motorized users. On-road vehicles would be banned in the area, although the committee is exploring the idea of short-term permits to allow some vehicular access for the disabled.

These limits on motorized users prompted loud protests from many in the crowd, who felt the concept plan will limit their enjoyment of their own backyard. However, it could be argued that motorized traffic limits the ability of others to enjoy the trail system to its full extent. And the intent of the concept plan is to keep the trail for all to enjoy.

Compromise is the only way to ensure everyone’s ability to enjoy the trail, and that compromise means some segments should be off limits to motorized traffic.