As one watches the pathetic scenario unfold on the 25th Avenue cycling and walking path, one can only come to the conclusion that our Mayor and some Councilors lack the fortitude to make tough decisions.
Recently, I read a Morning Star article with the headline: “Vernon neuters camping bylaw.” This is the exact opposite of what’s needed. The bylaws need to be tightened up.
Folks, it’s the mayor of this city and some councillors that seem neutered. If I hear elected officials blame the province one more time, my eyes will roll back in my head.
Frankly, Mr. Mayor, you were elected to be the leader of this city and the majority of Vernon citizens think it’s disgusting that you have taken a sideline approach and allowed this festering boil to grow.
It is shameful that the citizens of this community have to walk through this mess, and even driving by this policy blunder is sickening.
This city has been on a mission to build cycling and walking paths, squeezing out space for vehicles so you can barely turn a corner without running over someone.
Yet, you throw one of the nicest cycling and walking paths under a homeless campground. The 25th Avenue walkway is not really a park it’s a commuting path and the city’s decisions are talking that away from the general public by encouraging an unsafe environment.
The Morning Star article also stated that Councillor Cunningham, “felt bad because these folks might need a little extra daylight to set up their camping gear.”
What about the rights of the general public?
The folks who want to walk to work, bike their kids to school, walk or bike to restaurants and shops, enjoy the fresh air and live safely in their own neighborhood? Why is it that we don’t have rights? You can’t walk into any restaurant or public building in British Columbia without being told, “no smoking.”
Why then does the general public have to walk through a 30 to 50-metre health hazard of drug smoke, cigarette smoke, discarded needles and other potential health hazards? What about bylaws to protect our rights?
Walking along this stretch of 25th Avenue is disgusting, feels unsafe and you, Vernon’s elected officials, are letting it happen.