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At Greenbriar Trail dedication, Gov. Nixon kicks off 100 Missouri Miles

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | 10:29 p.m. CDT; updated 9:36 a.m. CDT, Thursday, June 27, 2013
Greenbriar Trail, which was dedicated Wednesday, connects the 1,500 residences near Green Meadows Road with the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail via the MU Recreation Trail.

COLUMBIA — As a group of Columbia residents walked up the newly dedicated Greenbriar Trail, they stopped to notice a vintage bicycle disassembled and hanging vertically from a tree like a mobile.

Nine other bikes lay in repose in the brush alongside the new trail, a half-mile concrete path that connects the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail, the MU Recreation Trail and Greenbriar Drive. Signs that pointed out native plant species also lined the path.

The bikes and signs were some of the small details GetAbout Columbia had prepared for the dedication ceremony for Greenbriar, which drew a crowd of about 150 people Wednesday evening. Gov. Jay Nixon used the event to kick off his 100 Missouri Miles initiative, a challenge to Missouri residents to bike, paddle, run, roll, walk or skate 100 miles before the end of the year. 

“Missouri has some of the best parks and trails in the country,” Nixon said. He referred to Missouri being named “Best Trails State” by American Trails in April.

“You might think ‘Best Trails’ would go to somewhere like Colorado or Vermont,” he said. “But it didn’t.”

Most of Columbia’s political leaders were at the event, including UM System President Tim Wolfe, Mayor Bob McDavid, all six City Council members and former Mayor Darwin Hindman.

Wolfe commended Nixon’s 100 Missouri Miles initiative for encouraging Missouri residents to get more active and take advantage of the state’s many trail systems. The initiative and the new trail will “bolster our state’s reputation as a premier place for trails,” he said.

McDavid called Columbia’s trails one of the city's “crown jewels” and said 70 percent of households in the city use the trail system.

Mark Consiglio’s family is one of those households. Consiglio and his family live next to Greenbriar’s new trailhead. He said his thoughts about the trail have changed throughout the construction process.

“It was much larger in scope than we originally realized,” Consiglio said. “And I think anyone who sees 100-year-old trees being chopped down, you get a little sad for that.”

He said that overall, he was pleased with the project.

“We realized it was a really good purpose, to connect the community closer to campus and the city and all the other trails,” Consiglio said.

The Greenbriar project was paid for with $22 million the Federal Highway Administration awarded Columbia, as part of its Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program. Three other communities were also awarded grants. GetAbout Columbia manages the award money.

Janet Godon, GetAbout’s outreach coordinator and planner, came up with the idea for vintage bicycle installation art and was able to get the bikes donated from Klunk Bicycles and Repair. She called it a ghost bike park, and she hopes the bikes will be there a long time. 

“I’m hoping that people will hear about it and get their families to bike to the ghost bike park,” she said.

Supervising editor is Hannah Wiese.  


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Comments

Richard Saunders June 27, 2013 | 2:28 p.m.

Leave it to the city to destroy nature in order to build a nature trail!

I'm beginning to think they'd doze the entire city in order to rebuild it to their liking, if only someone else would pay for it.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble June 27, 2013 | 4:27 p.m.

This is a greatly useful section of trail. North-south trail travel in this city is still much more difficult than East-West, so I'm glad to see that need being addressed.

Having used the new trail section recently, I have only two issues with it:

1) The concrete surface. Concrete is a lousy surface for pedestrian trails, because of its hardness. It's much harder on the bodies of runners or walkers than either asphalt/blacktop or crushed rock/dirt. The nature of this trail section probably makes rock/dirt impractical, but I don't see any reason to not use blacktop. It's hard enough to provide a solid, smooth surface, but soft enough to be much more forgiving on pedestrians. I hope the city will switch away from concrete in future projects.

2) The zig-zag trail descent from Greenbriar is awkward on a bicycle. The hard, tight angles of the zig-zag are difficult to navigate on a bike; a series of curves would have been much easier to ride up & down than the very tight angles and very small amount of space to turn that the trail provides. Something more curved and gently sloping would also be a better match for the existing trail styles and the surroundings.

I didn't observe the construction, so I can't comment on how much was cut down/dug up to create this.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble June 27, 2013 | 4:30 p.m.

This is a greatly useful section of trail. North-south trail travel in this city is still much more difficult than East-West, so I'm glad to see that need being addressed.
Having used the new trail section recently, I have only two issues with it:

1) The concrete surface. Concrete is a lousy surface for pedestrian trails, because of its hardness. It's much harder on the bodies of runners or walkers than either asphalt/blacktop or crushed rock/dirt. The nature of this trail section probably makes rock/dirt impractical, but I don't see any reason to not use blacktop. It's hard enough to provide a solid, smooth surface, but soft enough to be much more forgiving on pedestrians. I hope the city will switch away from concrete in future projects.

2) The zig-zag trail descent from Greenbriar is awkward on a bicycle. The hard, tight angles of the zig-zag are difficult to navigate on a bike; a series of curves would have been much easier to ride up & down than the very tight angles and very small amount of space to turn that the trail provides. Something more curved and gently sloping would also be a better match for the existing trail styles and the surroundings.

I didn't observe the construction, so I can't comment on how much was cut down/dug up to create this.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 27, 2013 | 5:18 p.m.

Kevin:

A search of local newspaper files should indicate that at one time there were those who wanted to make ALL your city trails, existing and future, concrete.

They must never have consulted the several orthopedic physicians in Columbia. I got read the riot act by one such physician for even WALKING several miles on city sidewalks.

Asphalt surface seems a compromise between trail maintenance and wear and tear on human joints. We have here an asphalt trail 26 miles length that has been in service for years with scant maintenance other than periodic patching of cracks. I'm using an especially scenic 9 miles of it, which includes one serious grade (to attain the height of a large dam, used for flood control). This grade has some switchbacks, which have multitudinous signs and turn arrows. Whether anyone on a bicycle has ever gone off the edge, I don't know.

I walk 2-3 miles every other day, weather permitting. Lately the weather has not cooperated much.

(Report Comment)

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