I have heard several compliments about the nice chairs and benches overlooking the lake in the new park but I have also heard many more complaints about the nightmare involved to drive down and use them.
As a typical example, we hitched up the boat and trailer this year and attempted our usual access to Sylvan Lake from the traditional Highway 11 and 781 intersection. We were greeted by a confusing tangle of posts and cables that would not permit entry.
Heading around to the east we tried to come into town on 50th Avenue but were met with extensive road construction that detoured us onto Lakeshore Drive. Here we encountered a series of mountainous speed bumps that caused damage to the vehicle and trailer.
After a brief visit in the park with the underwater beach we continued west to the marina and boat launch where a locked gate and a sign demanding a $40 usage fee awaited us. This is more than twice the cost of past years and I fully expected to see a pirate come out of the marina office.
Town officials have said they negotiated public access and parking with the developers of this area but only an idiot could believe that, given the present circumstances we encountered. If construction on this area begins, say goodbye to any waterfront access at all.
If town officials do not improve the main Highway 11 and 781 access with a new set of lights, fix the destructive speed bumps on Lakeshore Drive and guarantee open access to the only boat launch in Sylvan Lake, they are effectively rendering the nice changes useless because many people are too frustrated to visit.
No wonder the old downtown area has become somewhat of a ghost town with not even a grocery store for the summer visitors to buy food at.
Several residents have told me they have moved out of town because they can’t get around like they used to and many more visitors have said they now go to Gull Lake because it is more easily accessible.