Bassett Creek Regional Trail in Jeopardy?

August 12, 2011 at 6:34 am 4 comments

Oh my God!  Is government spending by the unconstitutional Three Rivers Park District actually getting questioned?  From the Golden Valley Patch;

The Bassett Creek Regional Trail, a proposed seven-mile walking and biking path stretching from French Regional Park in Plymouth to Theodore Wirth Park in Golden Valley, may have hit a bump in the road.  The proposed trail is likely three to five years away from construction, but Three Rivers park District representatives are making the rounds to present the plan and obtain resolutions of support from area cities. “We’re a long way off on agreeing on anything here,” Golden Valley Mayor Linda Loomis said Tuesday.

While the proposed trail would bring an estimated 176,400 commuters through the city, some council and city staff members are concerned about additional traffic in some areas. One portion of the trail is plotted for the south sidewalk of Golden Valley Road from Regent Drive to Theodore Wirth Parkway. The bike path would run past the Courage Center, a rehabilitation center for disabled clients who often cross the street for shopping.

Councilmember Paula Pentel commutes in the area via bike said she does not use the sidewalk on the south side of the road. “I just feel that it is too dangerous.” Council members also expressed concern over maintenance of the trails. While the park district would obtain ownership and operation of the trail, it does not maintain the trail in winter months—meaning it would not be snowplowed.

While it would include some additions, much of the trail builds on existing infrastructure that was built, at least in part, by the city—including the pedestrian path over Highway 100. “We put a lot of money into this section already at our taxpayer expense,” Loomis said. “To now turn it over to Three Rivers without compensation doesn’t strike me as being necessarily fair.”

Kelly Grissman, senior planning manager for the park district, said the board is willing to negotiate with the council and city staff on the specific route and funding for the trail. While the park district is seeking Golden Valley’s resolution of support for the master plan, Grissman said it still will need to work out an agreement with the city outlining funding, routes, maintenance and other issues.“There [are] still lots of steps for public engagement,” Grissman said.

City staff is crafting a letter listing concerns and comments for the park district to present to the City Council before moving ahead with a resolution. The Bassett Creek Regional Trail master plan is available on the park district’s Website. District representatives are encouraging open feedback from area residents through Aug. 24.

Though we think the reason to vote against this is that it is a waste of money and we already have enough trails, we thank Golden Valley for their stance.  You see city of Crystal, it’s not that hard to oppose something!


Entry filed under: Golden Valley, Three Rivers Park District.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. wants2know  |  August 15, 2011 at 11:20 am

    This is one example of over spending being pushed onto lower levels of government that do not necessarily represent the needs and wants of local constituents. Why does Golden Valley need an additional trail through their city? Where are the statistics to support the proposed increase in commuters traveling through the city? How and by whom was the Park District’s General Plan developed? Can it be traced back to the work of the unelected leadership of the Met Council? Why is this level of spending a good idea when local taxpayers are struggling to contend with job losses, home foreclosures, stock market losses, shrinking retirement funds and a rising cost of living? It may have been a nice amenity when the GP was first conceived and developed but it is very likely that this is one of the many government programs that need to have their spending reduced.

  • 2. Golden Valley Mom  |  August 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I live in Golden Valley and I like the idea of having more trail connections. Trails are considered an amenity in normal communities – increasing the quality of life by having safe places to bike and walk. It would be great to be able to bike or walk to the Grand Rounds or to Medicine Lake. Seems to me that if Three Rivers is willing to build it and maintain it, the City is getting a good deal. Don’t block a good thing because of politics. I read the plan and it looks like there was plenty of opportunity for public and City input prior to this point. Why grandstand now?

  • 3. Rikta11  |  August 17, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Who’s grandstanding? Are we not allowed to disagree or question a decision? “Three Rivers is willing to maintain it” So then it’s free?? Are we not paying them too? This attitude is exactly the problem. How many bike trails do we need? Our state government shuts down, borrows money from the schools, throws out a bonding bill to balance the budget but we can’t spend enough on trials, parks, and prairie restoration. Nice priorities we have in this state! Oh and we never pay enough in taxes either.

  • 4. wants2know  |  August 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

    It is about priorities. Government at all levels cannot meet their budget targets and taxpayers are struggling to keep jobs. Housing values have collapsed, retirement plans have been devalued. Why do folks still think that we, collectively, can still spend money on amenities like trails when the funding of healthcare services are being reduced and Minneapolis (for example) is laying off policemen. What is the value of a regional trail if you fear being attacked if you use it? Continuing to spend at current levels for non-essential, duplicative amenities, in this case, trails when people are lacking essential services is at best unwise.

    There is a time and place for funding amenities like trails but unless and until the economy improves this isn’t it.


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