Killer stretch of Calgary trail is replaced with switchbacks – Calgary

The City of Calgary is rebuilding a section of trail in northwest Calgary that fatally injured a teenager two years ago

Jhamir Catajan was an 8th grade student at St. Joseph’s School who is remembered as a gentle soul who always put others before himself.

On June 15, 2020, Jhamir was skateboarding down a hill in Confederation Park when witnesses said he tried to avoid a child in the way and crashed into a bridge. The 14-year-old died two days later.

“It was really difficult for all of our families because it’s a tight-knit community. So when another accident happened almost a year later and it was in our same school community, we said OK, what can we do? said Mount Pleasant resident Amanda Halek.

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Memorial in Confederation Park for Jhamir Catajan.

Carolyn Kury de Castillo/Global News

Halek’s son went to school with Jhamir and with another boy who was seriously injured in the same place a year after Jhamir’s death. A group of parents took action, setting up a memorial in the park to raise awareness, approaching strangers in the park, and writing emails to the city.

“It was totally popular. We just got together in the park after these accidents, this group of mums and we’re crying and we’re standing at this bridge saying, ‘What can we do? ‘” Halek said.

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The city is realigning the trail along 10th Street in Mount Pleasant. Previously, it was a straight line to a four-way intersection. The new lane will have two switchbacks to slow down runners.

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The city says the trail is not something that would be allowed by today’s standards. The maximum slope currently allowed is eight percent.

“Our park design guidelines outline the maximum grades allowed on trails,” said Vlair Allan of the City of Calgary.

“This lane has been protected. It was built before a time when design guidelines were really important in engineering, so we’re moving forward by taking the information we have now and applying it to the pathways that once existed and seeing how we can bring it to them. improvements.

The tragic incident prompted the city to consider other dangerous paths. The city is currently investigating a steep grade near Glenmore Reservoir on the south side of the Weaselhead that has been the site of injury collisions.

Memorial on a bridge in Confederation Park.

Carolyn/Kury de Castillo/Global News

“When we saw the construction trucks and vehicles in the park, we were amazed that this change was actually happening. These days it’s easy to think that positive change can’t happen,” Halek said. “It will make the park safer for everyone. It’s incredibly comforting and incredibly rewarding.

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In a statement to Global News, Jhamir’s mother said she was relieved by the lane project, saying “Please don’t remove the memorial so everyone can know someone is died accidentally”.

Community members requested that the city name the bridge in memory of Jhamir.

The Confederation Park project is expected to be completed in early October.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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