A piece of line strung across an Edmonton bike path and tied to two trees may have had harmful consequences if a local cyclist hadn’t found it.
Joshua Weber, an Edmonton mountain biker, was the one who found the line across the path. He was riding up a hill when he saw it and was able to stop. If he had been coming the other way – around a blind curve and downhill – the result could have been much different.
“It was a fairly strong rope that was deliberately tied with well-done knots. It wouldn’t come loose if someone hit it. It was about at neck height (for a cyclist). If someone was coming from the top to the bottom, they definitely would have hit it , it would have held and knocked them off their bike,” he said, adding the trail gets very little pedestrian use.
The rope was found in the trail area between Groat Road and Connaught Drive, north of 102 Avenue.
The bike trail is one of the many not routinely monitored or maintained by the city of Edmonton, meaning it could have been there for quite some time.
When contacted by Metro, neither the Edmonton Police Service nor Edmonton Park Rangers had heard about the line, but both were concerned about tracking down its location.
“We need people to identify (hazards) and contact 311 so we can locate and remedy them. It would be preferable rather than finding a photograph that doesn’t tell us how to fix it”, said Darren Grove, park ranger unit supervisor with the City of Edmonton.
Incidents like this are rare in Edmonton’s river valley, Grove said, remembering a few years ago when people who were fishing accidentally strung line across a path.
He was quick to point out that since very little is known about the incident, he can’t say for sure if the line was put up with malicious intent.
“Depending on where this is and what it is, it would affect the amount of hazard that it is (to people). For all we know, there could be a tree down on the trail further along and this is directing people around it, or it could be an entanglement or trap,” Grove added.
Anyone who sees anything hazardous on Edmonton trails should call 311.
There are penalties for putting up lines across paths in the river valley, as per the parkland bylaw. In section 13, dangerous activities, the bylaw states “While on Parkland no person shall modify any land in a way that is reasonably likely to cause injury to another person or damage to property.”
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