City Council ditches trails plan

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Why would the Council hold a public hearing?  It has already demonstrated that it’s not interested in what the public thinks.

Unfortunately there appears to be a huge misunderstanding about how city planning works, and even more confusion about how trails work in cities. I’m very discouraged to see the dialogue, which is more about passion than about facts. I’m hoping the discussion gets more civilized as the new councilors settle into their jobs.

The update to the Grand Valley Trails Master Plan included almost every inch of irrigation canal access road in the valley. I say almost only because they might have missed a section somewhere. This suggests that the intent is to eventually put trails there whenever possible. I noticed that in my neighborhood an existing but neglected trail is not even included, but the canal bank is. The Urban Trails Committee’s defense that the plan was only lines on a map does not excuse the implicit lack of respect for property rights. The plan is clearly not ready for public review.
The committee would be very likely to get approval for some sections of trail on the canal right-of-ways if they would approach the canal companies and land owners with specific requests. Something along the lines of: “We need to put a trail on this ditch bank, from here to there, because there is no other way to link these other sections. We can do this and that to address your concerns about access, liability and safety. Can you help us out with this?”.  The committee has a lot of work to do and I would like to help if I can.
Virgil Fenn

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734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
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