Chain-link fence repeatedly cut on desire path to MAX transit station on 16 Avenue

Citizens cut a steel shortcut by breaking fence behind a MAX station

A hole cut in the fencing leading from the green space adjacent to North Hill Fire Station No. 10, and the Calgary Transit station on 16 Avenue NW. COURTESY JEFF MARSH

Not for the first time, the chain-link fence just behind the North Hill MAX bus station was cut. 

According to Ward 7 Councillor Terry Wong, it’s a regular occurrence for the fence on 16 Avenue and 19 Street NW. It surrounds a soccer field and part of the North Hill Fire Station.

“[The City Parks Department] gets these calls all the time. They repair them as part of the regular parks maintenance,” said Coun. Wong. 

Wong said that due to only one segment of the fence requiring mending, no extra cost covers the repair, and its frequency goes unmonitored.

He said that this defacement is born out of convenience more than anything else.

“Quite easily you could’ve walked along 16th Avenue with the Safeway parking lot… and gotten there just as fast. I’m not sure why they spent the time to cut the fence like that.”

A proposed path forward

Although the fence repair doesn’t require additional taxpayer dollars, the communications director of the Hounsfield Heights-Briar Hill Community Association (HHBH) thinks the expense could be avoided entirely.

“Before the MAX station was there, people wanted to do that shortcut badly enough to get to the train or the mall that they would jump the fence,” Jeff Marsh, HHBH Community Association Communications Director.

Due to the frequency, a “cow path beaten into the grass” formed he said.

Marsh said the community association has suggested to the City placing a proper pathway.

The pathway would begin where the hole was cut in the fence and then around the soccer field. A trek connection would then connect the field to the community association, Louise Riley Library and Park and the train station. 

“It’d be great to have better connectivity for that multi-mode pathway over to the pathway in Lion’s Park,” said Marsh.

Their idea for a pedestrian pathway went unheeded by the city, he said.

“As usual with the city, it just got built. We got what we got… and seeing as the volunteers that we are, we didn’t continue to drive it.”

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