Columbia City Council approves Grindstone Creek trail construction

Monday, August 19, 2013 | 10:46 p.m. CDT; updated 10:53 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 19, 2013

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.

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Richard Saunders August 20, 2013 | 12:57 p.m.

So when do they take out all of the trees to build this nature trail?

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble August 20, 2013 | 4:20 p.m.

Trails are good, but I don't like concrete trails. They're okay for cycling, but lousy for everything else. Concrete is the worst surface for running and walking, as it is very hard on your joints and bones. A softer surface, such as asphalt, would be far superior for a multi-use trail - and every trail is a multi-use trail.

Studies have shown that user satisfaction is higher with asphalt trails. Further info on the topic is available here:

If other variables were considered when choosing concrete, I'd like to hear about them. Having extensively used the concrete bike trails that run along South Providence Rd, I can say that the amount of imperfections, drainage issues, and subsequent maintenance has been surprisingly high.

(Report Comment)
G A Miller August 20, 2013 | 5:34 p.m.

Trails are GOOD, they improve the city. We have many examples, The State Katy Trail, the MOST USED State Park. The City MKT Trail, the MOST USED City Park. The Stephens Park Trail, always in use, the Cosmo Park Trail, always in use. The "Not In My Back Yard" Hoppe is short sighted and doesn't understand being a community leader. Thanks to the rest of the City Council for having vision for the future of Columbia.

(Report Comment)

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