Long-term vision needed

We have to wean ourselves from the car culture here in the South Okanagan

The sorry mess over access to the KVR trail illustrates the lack of planning by the various authorities concerned. Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater’s remarks reveal the all-too-common lack of social conscience among politicians at all levels. He said: “Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s hiking and biking trails weren’t a political issue.”

Isn’t providing such public facilities a duty for politicians? Shouldn’t a long-term vision be an essential part of public service? (As opposed to the drive to get re-elected?) Maybe people didn’t hike or bike much then because there were no trails provided? As someone said, about baseball arenas I believe: “If you build it they will come.”

No wonder obesity and other health problems plague our society today. We have to wean ourselves from the car culture here. This was fostered by planners who created residential communities far from civic facilities. Also, there is a me-first attitude prevalent in North America which results in a lack of community spirit. Having town councils and politicos without long-term vision merely compounds the problem. You wouldn’t mess with public footpaths in Europe where people have owned and treasured them since time immemorial. We don’t have that advantage here and must fight to the death it seems to enjoy the right to walk.

Alanna Matthew

 

Penticton