by Kathy Johnson
At the request of the Woodland Multi-Use Trail Association (WMTA), the Municipality of Barrington is considering opening up the remainder of the Barrington Bay Trail to motorized use.
The request, for the Municipality “to continue to consider the conversion of the rest of the Barrington Bay Trail to motorized use,” was discussed at length by municipal councillors at the Jan. 14 meeting.
“Reassurance of the high probability of that conversion would be a significant encouragement for us to start the process for our next project,” wrote WMTA secretary Sherm Embree in a letter to council.
The WMTA is hoping to develop the section of abandoned rail line east of the Barrington Bay Trail to the Clements Pond/Port Clyde trail, which will complete the multi-use trail system through the Municipality of Barrington.
Last fall, the WMTA connected with the Barrington Bay Trail in Doctor’s Cove, completing a trail system that runs through to Yarmouth. At the time, the Municipality agreed to open up the section of the Barrington Bay Trail from Doctor’s Cove to Barrington Passage to vehicular traffic which in turn afforded the WMTA the opportunity to develop a trail head parking lot in the business district core.
Vehicular traffic is still prohibited on the remainder of the Barrington Bay Trail that runs through Barrington Passage from the No Frills store to the New Horizon apartment complex.
While councillors agreed to advise the WMTA that it is the Municipality’s intent to make the Barrington Bay Trail accessible for ATV use, council first wants to explore the best options for a peaceful co-existence between off highway vehicle operators and the many pedestrians who use this section of trail. Council also will be taking to the issue to the public for consultation.
The WMTA must also go through a public consultation process before requesting a letter of authority to use the abandoned railway line between Barrington Passage and Clements Pond for trail development.
Embree said the WMTA will be initiating the process this year, and are hoping the trail development can proceed in the summer of 2014.