The following article by Sarah McKenzie was published in the August 29, 2013 issue of the Southwest Journal:
Park Board planning improvements to trails along West River Road
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is collecting feedback on plans to improve 3.5 miles of bike and pedestrian trails along the river’s west bank from Franklin Avenue to Plymouth Avenue.
The public is asked to fill out a community survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WRiverJIRiceTrails on the project and attend upcoming community meetings on the proposal. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will work with Park Board staff on creating a plan for new lighting, signs, drinking fountains and other trail improvements.
Here’s a schedule of upcoming meetings:
— CAC meetings, Sept. 3, Sept. 24 and Oct. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Road.
— Community Open House, Oct. 1, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Road.
The bike and walking trails are part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. The Park Board has received $1.7 million in federal funding to improve them.
“The trails are among the most heavily used in the state, with over 1.6 million visits to the area annually,” said Park Board President John Erwin. “They provide vital recreational and commuting connections within our community and region. The rehabilitation of these trails will use federal funds that we applied for and received. This is part of the Park Board’s recent efforts to increase non-property tax based support through increased grant writing.”