First blog post – Why Lucasville Needs a Trail

We started this website, and volunteer with the Lucasville Greenway Walking/ Biking Trail Committee because we believe Lucasville needs, and deserves, a trail. Why?

 

Connections within and outside of the community.

A trail allows more connections than just by car with surrounding communities, and access outside of the community. There is no transit service. Essential amenities, like schools, banks, grocery and clothing stores, drug stores, corner stores, doctors offices, and restaurants are located outside of Lucasville. There are no active transportation (AT) facilities in the area, to allow residents to reach school, work, or shopping. A trail would allow connections to:

  • the surrounding subdivisions (Timber Trails, Kingswood North, Waterstone)
  • multi-use trails maintained and planned by the Sackville Rivers Association (SRA) in Lower Sackville
  • bike lanes in Lower Sackville
  • Hammonds Plains and bike lanes
  • Connections to the Beachville, Lakeside, Timberlea (BLT) rail trails

 

Health.

The main Lucasville road consists of a large number of baby boomers, while the newer subdivisions of Kingswood North and Waterstone have younger and growing families. Keeping active, and promoting a healthy lifestyle, like going to a park with your kids, or walking to the store, is easier when you can incorporate activity into your daily routine. According to the 2016 census by Statistics Canada, approximately half of the Nova Scotian population is over the age of 50. Health care and government professionals realize that a healthy aging population is going to be necessary to keep our parents and grandparents out of hospitals, and prevent a health care crisis.

Members of the community understand how an AT trail could benefit Lucasville residents, and help families be active together. Here is a comment from the Lucasville Trail community consultation held in January 2017: “I live in Waterstone, and would like to walk to the community centre with my kids to use the playground, or get an ice cream, in the summer. It’s fine in Waterstone, but once you hit Lucasville there is too much traffic, so we have to drive, or not go at all.”

 

A photo of the playground, basketball court, and ice cream hut (obscured by sign) at the Wallace Lucas Community Centre (June, 2017).

 

In order for Lucasville residents to use trails, they must get to adjacent walking and biking trails by personal or commercial vehicles,or by using narrow roadways and shoulders. This results in increasing our carbon footprint and not being active during the vehicle ride. An active transportation trail would help connect the elderly that can no longer drive, to retain links with the community and essential services, while remaining in their home longer. An AT trailwould also help youth that do not have access to a vehicle, as they could be involved with extra-curricular activities and not depend on their parents for a drive.

 

Safety.

 

A photo of washed out shoulders on Lucasville Road taken December 26, 2017.

 

Lucasville Road is not pedestrian or bike friendly. The traffic lanes are narrow. There are high traffic volumes and speeds, over 7900 vehicles travel Lucasville Road each day. The shoulders are narrow, washed out, and are not repaired for months. Pedestrians have been hit by cars while walking on the shoulder. This article from the Chronicle Herald outlines parents concerns about the traffic volumes, speeds, and lack of adequate shoulders while waiting for the school bus. Community members have raised these issues, as well as the lack of sidewalks, possible opportunities to use abandoned roadways for trails, and accessibility. An active transportation greenway would safely encourage physical activity and allow alternative methods to access essential services located outside the community.

 

Why Lucasville needs a trail.

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