Linn County Trails Association

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

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.


Post a Comment

<< Home