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State's own engineers should address "dangerous" roadway along proposed trail

Letter to the Editor


“[Brad] Parrish stated that phase one of the trail system, from Coulee Playland to North Dam Park, would eliminate ‘a very dangerous’ stretch of narrow roadway that walkers and bicyclists have to face today.”

Knowing there is already a dangerous stretch of roadway that walkers and bicyclists have to face today seems like the logical place to start. Why not put the focus there and make the necessary improvements for everyone’s safety? The speed limit is 35 mph and the state already owns the roadway and the right of way. Monies from Electric City’s hotel/motel tax fund and from the state could be better spent improving the roadway, not only for traffic but for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as local businesses. The state employs traffic safety engineers who are more than capable of coming up with a design, eliminating costly contracts with engineering firms. The impact and cost to the public would certainly be less expensive than the consideration of developing a new trail.

“Parrish indicated to the council that the first leg of the trail would go between Coulee Playland and North Dam Park. The projected cost of that portion could be $500,000, Parrish indicated. And that was just a rough guess, Parrish told the council.”

Not even stating the type of trail — paved class one, shared-use path, or shared-use soft surface trail needing easements from 45-foot minimum to 98 feet.

If the proposal for constructing the trail from the North Dam Park to Coulee Playland is expected to be approximately $500K, what is the projected cost for the entire trail? How many phases over how many years? Sounds like the tunnel project similar to Seattle except above ground. This project will cost millions of dollars and have a significant impact to the property owners, this community and the city.

What are the costs for property owners? What are the impacts to the property owners? What are the environmental impacts? What are the impacts to this community? Who and how does this benefit our community?

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