Thorold Mayor Luciani and Regional Chair Caislin cut the ribbon.

Trail from Isaac Brock Blvd. looking south.

The new Decew and Merrittville multi-use Trail was opened Wednesday at the north-east corner of the Regional Headquarters property (oh, and the unveiling of the Brock Business Plan). If you were inconvenienced over the past year while using either Decew Road or Merrittville Highway to escape to St. Catharines’ west end, the trail is why. If you never paid any attention to it, it’s a nice, wide path for pedestrians or bicycles along those two roadways (except over the Highway 406 overpass, of course) that will allow people to get safely from the end of Richmond Street to Brock University.

It was, in part, due to a plea from Brock Student Union members to find a safe way to school for those alternative transporters among them

Mayor Luciani addresses the large turnout.

and funded jointly by the City of Thorold, the Niagara Region, Brock University, and the Province of Ontario. Decew Road was urbanized (curbed and drained) and had new LED streetlights put in (the latter in part due to an energy grant). If you cross the Highway 406 overpass, though, there are signs telling you to dismount. That’s because the railings on the bridge are too low to stop you should you fall and the MTO wouldn’t spend the money to fix it. Merrittville Highway had the ribbon of pavement installed all the way to the corner of Isaac Brock Blvd., formerly St. Davids Road.

Cyclist leaving on the “Outspoken’ Slow Ride”.

The ribbon cutting, which was followed by an “Outspokin’ Slow Ride” along the new route, featured speeches by both Regional Chair Caislin and Thorold Mayor Luciani. The speeches were pretty boilerplate, but I found that there was a disturbing element to it: Rankin Construction

was singled out for doing the work “on budget and on time”. The disturbing part is that, where government contracts are concerned, coming in on schedule and on time are a matter for praise. That should be a given, although we all know it isn’t but, although I tip my hat to Rankin for doing so, meeting the terms of a contract should be an expectation, not a cause for praise. Oh well.

In any case, the path seems well-used if you go that way. Personally, I find it a much safer, if somewhat longer, route to the Timmy’s near Brock.

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