New resident disappointed with lack of awareness

I would like to say first of all that I have been very impressed with Red Deer. The City has taken care to be very clean, presentable, even with the one-way streets I find it very easy to navigate around. I walk a lot as I live about 15 minutes to the downtown core.

This morning I cut the ad out of the Express from the Wednesday edition and walked down to the bus depot to take advantage of the free service due to World Car Free day. I was directed to the #2 bus to get me to Maskepetoon Park. The bus driver had not heard of it but at one point stopped to let a couple of women, who were personal support workers with their clients (one in a wheelchair) off at the stop near 56 St. on Kerry Wood Dr.

As you know, that is nowhere near this park. I took that bus all the way through its route, checking the bus map and not seeing this park marked on it any where. I understand it is a new park but after talking with other people later it was shown to me on another City map. It turns out you need to get off at a stop in the Oriole Park area to be close to it.

I then took another #2 bus this time getting off on Kerry Wood Dr. near the Bower Ponds. I walked down in there and the security guard had heard of the new park but had no idea where it was. This park area is very attractive and was quite busy with families renting paddle boats, couples enjoying the beautiful weather as well as some baseball teams partaking of the perfect weather for some after season practice. I will definitely go back there again.

I decided to keep walking on Kerry Wood till I found it or till I ran out of road. I found it about 25 minutes later. It was 2 p.m. when I got there, there were a few tents set up otherwise I would not have realized this was the location. There was a sign at one of the tents saying water was available, they had run out. The barbeque was done, packed up (no signs of it actually) and one last tour of the park left to go in 15 minutes.

I tried to be as polite as I could with the young woman at the tent where the water was to have been but I was really quite surprised with what I found when I finally got there. It was a beautiful afternoon and at 2 p.m., the grand opening of a new park, where you can experience a little piece of nature within the City was done and over with.

There was no signage along the road and after I got back downtown I talked to several more bus drivers and none of them knew where it was either.

As I said Red Deer has come a long way as a City. I had walked downtown the night before to check out the Nuit Banche off Ross St. I was pleasantly surprised and admire the effort of the art community down there to follow along in the footsteps of some much larger cities.

Hopefully in the future this type of event will be better posted with transit made aware as well.

Julie Phipps

Red Deer

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