Town Hall Meeting Regarding Trails at Geist
Notice provided by Ray Peck
There will be a Town Hall Meeting at Amy Beverland Elementary on Monday, August 29th starting at 7pm. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the plan for trails in and around the Geist/Lawrence Area. Trails that will discussed will include the Fox Rd to Amy Beverland Trail, the Trail at the End of 79th Street to Oaklandon, and the Trail along 75th from Oaklandon to Sunnyside. This meeting will include the Mayor of Lawrence – Steve Collier, as well as other members of the Lawrence Leadership Team. Please keep in mind that we will not be discussing trails in other parts of the Geist Area, or for that matter, in other parts of Lawrence. This meeting will specifically focus on the trails below:
1) The Fox Road to Amy Beverland Trail.
- Much of the planning work has been completed, although no right-of-ways have been purchased
- This project has apparently been “de-prioritized”, and according to the Department of Public Works, it is being pushed back to 2022, and there is discussion as to whether this will be a classic 5 concrete sidewalk or a the increasingly popular 8 foot multi-use paved trail.
2) The “Trail through the Woods” at the end of 79th Street that would stretch to Oaklandon.
- This project is not moving forward in 2016 as originally discussed (see link to the article)
- Apparently this is going out for bid next year. There are questions as to whether this means it will be built once the bids are in.
3) The Trail along 75th Street from Sunnyside to Oaklandon.
- The City of Lawrence has chosen to start with this trail along 75th, and plans are currently being made to move forward right away.
- Some residents have complained that the 75th Street trail should be a lower priority because, along the trail itself, and also at either end, other than a golf course, there are no stores, no restaurants, no churches, no schools, and in fact, no businesses or institutions of any sort, so opponents contest that this trail would be useless, and would serve no one.
- Others complain that, because it would be a dead end on both sides (it does not connect to any other trails, and there are no plans to do so until into the 2020’s), there would be no reason to use this proposed trail, because it wouldn’t start from anywhere, it wouldn’t lead to anywhere, or connect to anything, including any other trails. As a result, there is concern that this trail is a waste of grants/tax dollars/funding until such time as it would connect to other trails.
- There is concern that this money would be much better spent on more high priority trails, including the Fox Road Trail.
4) There will be discussion about the pros and cons of building paved 8-10 foot wide multi-use trails, as opposed to building classic 5 foot concrete sidewalks.
If you are interested in voicing your opinions to the City of Lawrence, please plan to attend this meeting. Mayor Collier fully understands that these trails, and connectivity in general, are very important to the residents of Lawrence, as well as residents of the surrounding communities. The mayor has confirmed that he will be attending, as will several members of the Lawrence City Government, and also potentially some other parks and recreation people from Indianapolis.