In response to a request that the Ritchie Road maintenance access to Rollo McClay Community Park be closed, Regional Director Howard Houle Tuesday asked staff to prepare a report on the park’s short and long-term parking improvements plans.
Houle asked for the report, which is to go to the RDN board and the Area B Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee, at the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) board meeting at the RDN offices in Nanaimo, in response to a presentation by Gabriolan Erik Andersen. On behalf of himself and 14 other members of his neighbourhood, Andersen also asked that a new maintenance road access be developed to run from the McClay Road park entrance, between the two ballparks, to the clubhouse.
Andersen said that McClay Rd. is the formal access to the park. He said the back entrance at Ritchie Rd. was originally meant to only be used for maintenance. He said others are also using the back entrance, “and we’ve come to the point – myself and my neighbours – where we felt that it’s worth trying to represent that this entrance should be closed, permanently, so we no longer have the issues that go with that entrance being used by all sorts and sundries”.
Speaking to a photo of the locked gate at the Ritchie Road access that appeared to have been driven into by a truck, he said issues about the entrance have been ongoing for some time, and have been difficult to manage.
Acknowledging that there is a slope between the two ball diamonds, Andersen suggested that a trench could be dug for a maintenance road, and some large boulders that are onsite could make up a retaining wall.
McClay Road is a paved road, Andersen added, “with virtually no houses on it”, whereas Rollo Road, which leads to the Ritchie Road entrance is a gravel road with housing “all down this road, both sides”.
Andersen said the Ritchie Road entrance can’t be managed successfully, and “puts an onus on our director to micro-manage when he’s got other things to do. It’s an irritant for him, probably, it’s certainly an irritant for people on the road – that’s why we’re here – and it’s also another irritant for the people who use the park” who are being denied access when the gate is locked.
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