COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council approved the construction of a concrete biking trail along Grindstone Creek at its Monday meeting.
The new trail will connect the Grindstone Nature Area to Maguire Boulevard. Supporters said it would give cyclists safe passage across Old 63, improve community health and provide better access to Battle High School. When one speaker asked for all in favor of the trail to stand, a large majority of the meeting’s audience rose.
Mayor Bob McDavid and many council members spoke in support of the trail.
"If there were good alternatives, I would support those," Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas said. "The community benefit for so many people does trump private concerns."
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe was the only council member to vote against the trail, saying she was concerned it would violate the privacy of nearby residents.
“It’s arrogant and presumptuous for me to say ‘don’t worry, you’ll like it down the road,’” Hoppe said. “No, some people won’t like it down the road.”
More than a dozen Columbia residents, mostly residents of Bluff Pointe Drive, spoke in opposition to the plan. They were concerned that the trail would violate their privacy and that its construction would cause a disturbance.
Funding for the trail, which has an estimated price of $1.57 million, will come from the one-eighth cent park sales tax approved by voters in 2010.