Linn County Trails Association

LCTA is an all-volunteer organization supporting the development of nature trails for recreation and commuting in Linn County, Iowa.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Update on Flood Repairs:

Recent wet weather has slowed trail repairs. As of August 22nd, sections of the Cedar River Trail (at the 4th Street Entrance and near the landfill entrance) are still closed. Sections of the Ellis Trail remain closed with some of the work near completion. The section along the power plant lagoon as well as the entire Ellis Trail will probably open next week. The above picture is the section of the Cedar River Trail near the old Sinclair Bridge. This section of trail was prone to flooding before. The new elevation, encouraged by the Linn County Trails Association, is a welcomed sight for many trail users. The city's goal is to have the entire Cedar River Trail opened by Labor Day weekend.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trails and the Parks and Recreation Master Plan

At the most recent open houses (August 18 and 19) on the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Master Plan, three options were made available for public comment and input. Each option focused on three areas: Parks and Open Space, Riverfront, and Indoor Recreation. Trails were a key component in each of the options, but the focus and prioritization of trails varied. Here is a brief summary of the options and their relation to trails.
1. The Decentralized System Option
This option is similar to the current system. Parks are evenly distributed throughout the city. Its focus would enhance existing facilities rather than creating new ones.
· Provides some trail connectivity.
· More affordable due to the lower amount of new trails built.
· This option incorporates already existing and funded potential trails.
· Leads to a less extensive trail system.
· Does not maximize trail connectivity.
2. The Centralized System Option:
This option prioritizes trail segments that connect to the river front and city center. Its emphasis is on the development of trails that connect regional systems and neighborhoods to the riverfront, the Greenway, and the city center.
· Increase connectivity to the downtown core for some neighborhoods and the riverfront.
· Increases trails’ level of services in the downtown core.
· Does not maximize connectivity to neighborhoods and other trails.
· Has a capital cost of $25 million.
Important trails targeted for development: CEMAR Trail , Ellis Trail, Lincoln (Inter-Urban) Trail, Prairie Creek Trail. This option map had pedestrian bridges across the Cedar River. One bridge connecting Mohawk Park with Ellis Park and another bridge linking the Cedar River Trail to the Sac and Fox trail using the old Sinclair Bridge pilings.
3. The Hybrid System Option:
This option focused on developing trails that connect selected “clustered” parks (Ellis, Cherry Hill, Jones, Bever, and Noelridge) where recreational opportunities are focused with in the city limits.
· Increase connectivity between cluster parks.
· Creates several trail loops in different parts of the city.
· Partial dispersal of parks and facilities causes some duplication in staff, maintenance and facilities, increasing operating costs.
Emphasized trails: CEMAR Trail, Ellis Trail, Kirkwood Trail Extension, Lincoln Trail, Morgan Creek Trail (connecting to Ellis Trail).
As cost saving measures all the options entertained the idea of converting some areas that have little or no recreational value to low-mow and prairie plantings and/or an adopt-a-park program for new residential development. All of the display boards from this event will be posted on the website later this week with an online feedback form for residents who could not attend these events. Hurry, the comment period will last until only August 25th. The Draft Master Plan Presentation will be Tuesday, October 6th at the Crowne Plaza Ballroom from 4-7pm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flood Repairs Begin!

In the next month, several Metro Area trails will be closed for reconstruction and repair from the 2008 flood. For your safety, remember to obey all signage and barricades. In addition, who wants to pay those outrageous trespassing fines?
The following proposed schedule of closures is subject to change due to weather conditions and contractor preferences.

Cedar River Trail

August 10th through 16th:
Cedar River Trail between 29th St. and 42nd St.

August 10th through September 3rd:
Cedar River Trail from A Street (Landfill entrance) to the bridge over Prairie Creek.

August 17th to August 20th:
Cedar River Trail: 4th Street Entrance to Shaver Rd. (Along the old power plant lagoon)

August 24th to September 3rd:
Cedar River Trail at the 8th Ave. Bridge.

Ellis Trail
August 17th to August 21st:
Ellis Trail at Penn Ave.

Sac an Fox Trail:

September 8th to September 19th:
Sac and Fox Trail from Cole St. parking lot to Mount Vernon Rd.

If you need ideas where to ride, this is a great opportunity to explore the Cedar Valley Nature Trail and Boyson Trail. They are in great condition.

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