Footbridge over the Speed River at Emma St.?

I wish to offer some comments regarding development of the trail network connecting Goldie Mill Park and Riverside Park.First of all, I presume that to all involved, this is a significant addition not only to the Speed River Trail and the ability to tie into the Royal Recreation Trail, but to Guelph overall as a livable, walkable city.

As a Designer who has walked in cities all over North America, I wish to suggest the great advantage of having the trail system hug the river as much as possible. I also suspect the Speed River Trail runs through flood plain between Woodlawn Road and Guelph Lake so that this be considered an option in places if this be deemed a significant benefit to the user.

As you know, a trail network is an infrastructure that potentially lasts hundreds of years. In the interest of the big picture, I also believe their may be significant long term benefits to taking the trail over the Speed River at Clarendon by means of a pedestrian bridge to connect to the foot of Emma Street, then to follow the east side of the river to connect with the continuation of the trail at Riverside Park. This has the following advantages:
it deals more easily with the significant topographic challenges as the west side approaches Speedvale and the commercial property at Speedvale,
it avoids users having to use the sidewalk on the Speedvale Bridge and experience the high volume of road traffic over it,
it connects the neighbourhoods to the east and west in very exciting way, allowing east side residents easy access to downtown (now they have to go up past the hospital and down Eramosa, which due to high traffic volumes is not very appealing) and to the Royal Recreation Trail and Exhibition Park. And it allows residents on the west side of the Speed (including the neighbourhood around Exhibition Park) easy access to the Homewood and Guelph General (without having to drive) thereby reducing the high volume of traffic and parking problems around those facilities.             MA


Thank you for all your great input into the development of the Guelph Trail System. I do agree, the addition of a foot bridge at Clarence over the Speed connecting to Emma would be a wonderful link and is something we can look at with your team.
At this time though staff are pushing ahead to create a trail along the GJR tracks as is shown on the Council Approved Trail Master Plan. As we speak the ad hawk trail along the GJR from Speedvale Ave to Goldie Mill Park is very well used and it is a very quick ‘point A to point B’ link for people to get down or uptown. It would be a shame and ultimately a failure to try to divert all pedestrian traffic off the GJR tracks from Clarence to Speedvale Ave and force them down along the River as you have suggested. As a Secondary Trail though, I think the idea of creating a trail along the River behind your proposed development would be a fantastic addition to the Trail Master Plan and is something I look forward to working on with you as your project develops.             Staff