Lon Wood, a neighbour of the trail head and parking lot of the Mount Tzouhalem trail system, hopes the Municipality of North Cowichan will deal with the growing problems related to the park. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Lon Wood, a neighbour of the trail head and parking lot of the Mount Tzouhalem trail system, hopes the Municipality of North Cowichan will deal with the growing problems related to the park. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Neighbours want solutions to “Kaspa bedlam” caused by Mount Tzouhalem trailhead

Speeding vevicles, parking among the problems

At least one neighbour of the Kaspa Road parking area for the trails on Mount Tzouhalem is encouraged that the Municipality of North Cowichan has decided to take a look at the growing traffic and other concerns in the area he dubs “Kaspa bedlam”.

Longtime resident Lon Wood said the decision by the municipality’s council on Dec. 16 to have staff prepare a report exploring long and short-term solutions to the challenges at the site gives him cause for hope that the issue will be resolved in a reasonable manner.

“In my case, the complaint I submitted to the municipality was made more in sorrow than anger,” Wood said.

“It’s only a small minority of the trail users that are guilty of bad behaviour. The success of the trail system is encouraging, but it’s almost too much of a good thing. I believe it just hasn’t been thought through taking into consideration all the circumstances.”

RELATED STORY: SIGNAGE, IMPROVEMENTS UNTANGLE TRAILS ON MOUNT TZOUHALEM IN COWICHAN VALLEY

Wood and almost 30 other residents in the area of the trailhead of Mount Tzouhalem’s biking and walking trails sent letters to council outlining their many concerns with the influx of people and vehicles to their neighbourhood to use the recreational trails.

They include speeding vehicles through the residential neighbourhood, increased numbers of parked cars lining the streets after COVID-19 protocols limited parking in the parking lot, deer being struck by vehicles, camping and cooking on open air fires in the trail system’s parking lot and loud noises at all times of the day and night.

At North Cowichan’s council meeting, Coun. Christopher Justice noted that the use of forests within the municipality for biking and hiking has has seen a dramatic increase over the past few years.

He said outdoor sports are becoming more popular in general, but the increasing use of the Mount Tzouhalem trails is being supported and encouraged by North Cowichan which built trails and installed infrastructure there, including signage and a bathroom.

RELATED STORY: MOUNT TZOUHALEM GOES LIVE AROUND THE WORLD WITH GOOGLE TREKKER

“In our parks and trails master plan, it states that one of our three mountains is to become a mountain bike and nature-based tourist attraction, and it has been successful it would seem,” Justice said.

“We have seen an increase in local recreational use of our forests, and also an increase in large groups coming from out of town to use them as well. COVID-19 may have exacerbated the problems as well, but it’s not the root cause. As the residents have pointed out, a number of problems have come with this increased usage.”

Some of the suggestions the residents made to help solve the problems include having resident-only parking on the streets, installing user fees for visitors to the trails, removing North Cowichan’s signage and advertising from the trail system and closing access to the trails from the area altogether.

North Cowichan CAO Ted Swabey said staff will prepare a report that will attempt to respond to the neighbours’ concerns and give options to council on the best way to approach them.

The report will presented and debated at a future council meeting.

“It’s a step by step process, but I’m hopeful the problems will be dealt with in the end,” Wood said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 gathered at the Duncan Cenotaph on April 9 to commemorate the First World War Battle of Vimy Ridge. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley veterans remember Battle of Vimy Ridge

Members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 gather at Duncan Cenotaph

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num signs installed in downtown Duncan

Project a partnership between City of Duncan, DDBIA and Cowichan Tribes

Crofton Fire Department members on the scene of Twin Gables fire in February of 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Citizens’ group calls for action at Crofton’s Twin Gables Motel

Crofton waterfront site called an eyesore and a nuisance property

North Cowichan is looking for public input through a survey as it updates its Master Transportation Plan. (File photo)
North Cowichan looking for public input on transportation

Online survey to be held until April 22

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read