Nice piece in the State Journal-Register this morning about efforts in Springfield and Maucopin and Menard Counties to extend and connect to the Sangamon Valley Trail. The right-of-way is there for a 37-mile, paved path…if, says the paper, local trail advocates can find the money.
But what stuck with me in this story is the waste inherent in disconnected trails—disconnected from other trails, from our businesses, from where we live. Over a beer last night with new trail friend Jerry H., Jerry told me how disorienting it is when a trail ends at a street. Even if signs clearly suggest an on-street route for you, you just look harder to see where the trail continues.
Where trails end, trail users turn around. And they take their commerce, health benefits, and sustainable lifestyle with them. Trails need to connect for the Triple Bottom Line to flow. Our state needs some flow—heck, we need a flood.
I’m (Steve) going out to Ottawa today with Diane Banta from National Park Service to look at a big disconnect—the I&M trail closure by the Buffalo Range gun club. The club’s been closed all winter—and so has the trail. We’re going out to get some pics and do a walkabout. Spring has sprung, and it’s time to spring loose the trail.
Will post pics when we get back today. Have a great weekend out on a trail!