Letter: Burnaby 'really messed up' with Barnet park changes

Editor:

Re: Burnaby park inaccessible by wheelchair from parking lot: resident, NOW News

I can’t agree with her more. Burnaby really messed up with the extensive changes to the Barnet Marine Park.

Not only have they made it very hard on the disabled to use the park, they have also made it much more difficult for kayakers and canoers to launch their boats into the Burrard Inlet.

Barnet Marine Park is the only ocean-water access in the city and is widely used by many people.
I am a senior citizen and my wife and I enjoy the wonderful off-leash dog park many times a week. We both were waiting with great anticipation for the eastside roadway to reopen after the work was done to the parking lots.
Last week, I was shocked to see the changes made. We can no longer drive our canoe and gear down across the railway tracks to use the “designated loading zone” to drop off our stuff.

From this area, it was relatively easy to push our canoe down to the water. We also purchased wheels to help make it easier on us.
This has all changed. The “new drop-off point” is now on the other side of the tracks and up a rather steep grade. We did launch our boat there once, but never again. After a few hours out on the water, we were a bit tired.

We both really struggled to get our boat and gear back up the hill to the drop-off parking spot. Also, the new drop-off area is now smaller than the old spot and way more congested.
This project was a complete waste of my tax dollars.
The westside of the park is now where many people are unloading their stuff as the hill down to the beach is closer and not as steep. There are locked gates across the road with “no stopping” signs in front of them that people just ignore while they unload. This includes many families with their picnic gear. I heard some people have been ticketed by Burnaby for doing this.
Burnaby must rethink this mess and come up with a better solution to give the (people with disabilities), seniors and others easier access for people waiting to launch their small water craft. We are not talking about a boat ramp, just a closer drop-off area.
Believe me, this is not only my opinion. Many people at the park are complaining about the changes.

Time to fix this Burnaby.

Glen Atkinson, Burnaby

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