Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bicycle advocate Maurice Loridans views the Clyde Fant Recreation Plan from a rider's point of view

From bike commuter Maurice Loridans to city planner Tim Wachtel:

Overall I am very pleased and impressed with the Clyde Fant Recreation Plan. You have done a lot of work and made valuable use of the input so far. I approve of almost everything with a few minor exceptions.

First, though, I want to amplify your plan on two points that were not emphasized. The Preston Ave trail connection is very important because it serves the large neighborhoods of Shreve Island, Broadmoor and Broadmoor Terrace. Don't just think how they would access by car and park but how they can enjoy the Parkway by bike from their doorstep.

Currently you have to carry the bike over grass because of goathead thorns to/from the parkway and ride along a shoulder of the Parkway that jars your teeth because of deep cracks and is full of debris. Then you either ride on a bumpy slab sidewalk (technically illegal) or share a high traffic two lane that people do 45 and 50 on which is not appealing to the casual recreationalist. Please extend the trail to Captain Shreve. Just take that sidewalk and overlay with asphalt.

Next, there is the underpass that leads from the bike trail at the wooden bridge, under the Parkway to the Coats Bluff area. Please fix the drainage there too, like the underpasses at the Disc Golf Course.

Did I understand that an extension of the trail to C. Bickham Dixon would not be open to cyclists? Even on blacktop? Not good. This Greenway has potential as and alternative transportation corridor but it needs to serve neighborhoods at LSUS and Shreve City Shopping. It is not that much to ask that it be functional as well as recreational.

Think of students and shoppers, Farmer's market customers and Festival goers not having to use their cars and having such a pleasant greenway to use.

The only proposal I really disagree with is doing away with the informal parking across from SciPort.

First, there is not enough parking in the area. The Railroad is famously uncooperative about giving up their property, it is the best parking for the interactive fountains, and as a canoeist, I can carry my boat, paddles and life jacket to the dock and launch in one haul. I couldn't do it from where you propose.

best regards,
Maurice Loridans
attorney at law

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