Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How would good walking and biking trails contribute to Mac?

I attended a meeting last night led by Jim Boyer about walking and biking trails in McPherson. Jim is a member of the city planning and zoning commission (p&z). The p&z have officially taken the stance in favor of developing better walking and biking trails through out McPherson.
My initial interest in attending was the idea of developing the biking trail between Lindsborg and McPherson because I get calls at the CVB about biking trails in the area -- not a ton of calls but enough to get me wishing we had one. The trail, the Meadowlark Trail, apparently already does exist and begins near Northview and Hwy 81 Bypass on the northwest edge of town. The path is still pretty primitive and can only be hiked and not biked yet. Brad Hall who has worked with the group trying to develop Meadowlark Trail was at the meeting last night.
Here's a little info. and history on the project from hutchnews.com http://www.hutchnews.com/Print/giftfran
At the trailhead in McPherson is Hess Park, which in my opinion is the perfect location for a dog park. More on that later.
The meeting last night focused more on sidewalks inside the city. The consensus on the top two priorities was putting in sidewalks along Ave. A and Northview. Some other areas noted were the area around the middle school north along Hartup to First Street and continuing on north to N. High Drive. At least three of McPherson's six schools would be hit on this path. All of Euclid Street and the streets around McPherson College, particulary Sharp were singled out as needing either better sidewalks or sidewalks period. If you've ever gone to a Bullpups football game at McPherson Stadium you'll know firsthand what a nightmare parking and walking is in that part of town.
I wish Jim and his group good luck in pursuing better walking corridors throughout McPherson and hope the Meadowlark Trail becomes a viable bike route. I'm told there is a work day on the trail this Saturday. If I find out any more information, I'll let you know.

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