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Letter: GetAbout Columbia's Garth trail extension too expensive, not needed

Friday, July 25, 2008 | 11:38 a.m. CDT; updated 11:44 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 25, 2008

We write to refute inaccuracies in Ian Thomas’ recent letter on the proposed Garth Avenue trail extension. More than 50 residents of the neighborhood signed a petition in united opposition to this poor plan. We will not allow our legitimate concerns to be cavalierly dismissed as “the unfounded fears of a few individuals.”
The Garth extension is in no way a “short, inexpensive trail segment,” as Thomas claims. There are 650 feet of natural woods from Lathrop Avenue to the trail. There is a 51-foot drop from street level to trail level that will need to be graded. The city’s easement is only 23 feet wide; so more land will need to be taken by condemnation to make a trail that doesn’t look like a skate park ramp. The current plans calls for massive retaining walls and a bridge to cross the creek. The costs will be prohibitive.
There is a recently improved entrance at Stewart/Providence Roads and at Lakeshore Drive, both within three-fourths of a mile from the proposed Garth extension.
The real motive for this extension is to spend money from a federal grant ASAP. Ted Curtis of GetAbout Columbia said because the city already has an easement on the proposed extension land that this project is low-hanging fruit. Let’s take the time to develop non-motorized transportation projects that provide real benefits and that earn the support of residents, instead of rushing through ill-conceived boondoggles to meet grant deadlines.

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Comments

Charles Dudley Jr August 10, 2008 | 12:41 p.m.

They are talking about extending all of these various trails,building new trails but what about the dilapidated state of most if not all of our city sidewalks first? Where do our city sidewalks that are in such deplorable condition that our disabled population is forced to ride their power chairs and scooters in the streets due to on the sidewalks they could tip over and get injured.

Hard choice isn't it? Ride on the broken up city sidewalks and face injury or riding in the streets and facing injury. What would you do if you were in their position?

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