This past weekend I had the opportunity to finally get out at night in Golden. I was surprised to see so many people walking downtown. It made me think about the “Bridge to Bridge “ project.
I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be if the project were already completed and we had a beautiful walk way along the river to enjoy. I love that the river runs straight through the downtown area. It could be a beautiful tourist attraction, if it were utilized.
The dike is in need of repair, there is no question about that. While updating the dike this seems like the perfect opportunity to revitalize the area. Not only will this bring more pedestrian traffic to the downtown centre, it is a natural fit to tie in with the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge that was built in 2001.
The bridge alone is a tourist attraction as it is the longest freestanding timber frame structure in Canada. The “Bridge to Bridge “ project would finish and connect the Rotary bike trails, the pedestrian bridge, and the Spirit Square.
There are already a couple of businesses that are taking advantage of the river front, The Rockwater and Bacchus Books. Their patios overlook the river. Putting the hydro lines underground and paving the road will be a vast improvement. What a gorgeous view the businesses will have.
It would be nice if more businesses were able to take advantage of the project and turn their business fronts toward the river. Of course for some this would be a huge expense, and it will not happen overnight. And for some, it may never happen.
Like any huge undertaking there are always complications and different point of views. I was at the “Let’s do Lunch” meeting regarding the project that was sponsored by the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce. The meeting was very informative and the lunch was well attended and many good questions were asked and answered. The Town is asking for as much public input as possible and are planning more meetings. We can only hope it goes smoothly and will meet the timeline.
Because the Town will have to borrow money for the project there could be a tax increase of up to three per cent to the homeowners. No one likes a tax increase, and since I am not yet a homeowner here, I really have no right to voice an opinion. However, I do think the river is a large part of Golden’s beauty and not to utilize it would be a pity. Anything that will make Golden a more beautiful and unique place to visit should be considered a good thing.
Golden has so much to offer in the downtown core. The proximity of the bike trails, the pedestrian trails, the restaurants, and the shopping are in such close proximity and are so very accessible to everyone. This beautification project is just one more step that will make Golden a place to visit.
By Michele LaPointe