Saturday, July 2, 2011

Coventry Trail next phase of pedestrian bikepath network

   The popularity of the City’s 12-mile-long pedestrian bikepath network is clearly evident by the number of people walking, biking and strolling on the trails throughout the day and early evenings. And both frequent and infrequent users of the trail will be pleased to know that the network will soon expand with the addition of the new Coventry Trail Pedestrian Bike Path to be built on the east-central side of Rolla in and around the 14-acre Coventry Park.  
   The trail, which will be eight feet wide and approximately 1,265 feet long, will begin near Pinetree Road, run east along Richard Drive to Coventry Park, and end at Coventry Lane. The trail will pass through a scenic and natural area that will include a walk bridge (similar to the bridge on the ACORN Trail) that will span Burgher Creek and connect to the edge of Coventry Park. In addition to connecting the ACORN Trail, Rolla’s 9-mile long pedestrian/bike pathway, to Coventry Park, Phase 1 of the Coventry Trail will also make Coventry Park much more accessible and visible to residents in surrounding neighborhoods, and the entire community. Funding for Phase I of the Coventry Trail will be made available through the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission Transportation Enhancement Funds Program Agreement administered by MoDOT.
  The City Council at the June 6 Council meeting unanimously approved the bid for the Coventry Trail Pedestrian Bike Path to be awarded to Donald Maggi, Inc. The Missouri Department of Transportation, which will oversee and provide the necessary funding for the project ($131,938), has concurred with the award to Donald Maggi, Inc. as well. The City’s Public Works Department will be providing engineering, design work, construction oversight, and a portion of the construction.
   Construction of Phase 1 of Coventry Trail is scheduled to begin this summer (2011). Phase II of Coventry Trail, which is not yet funded, would parallel Burgher Creek along the entire length of Coventry Park and provide more fitness, walking and biking opportunities in that area of the park.    
   In other transportation and road construction related news, we appreciate your continued patience and that of motorists traveling on Forum Drive between 18th and 10th Streets as major infrastructure upgrades are completed. The water main installations by RMU are nearly completed, and the trenches are being patched by the City’s contractor, Rolla Asphalt. Work in this area along Forum Drive will continue, however, for the next several weeks. Once all of the additional repairs and improvements are completed, Forum Drive will receive a new overlay. This project should greatly enhance the infrastructure of this area as well as improve the driving surface and safety of Forum Drive.
   In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that the 76th annual Rolla Lions Club Carnival is in full swing this weekend at Rolla Lions Club Park (State Route 63 South) through Monday, July 4 with carnival rides, game booths, great-tasting carnival food and free fireworks tonight, Saturday, July 2 and Monday, July 4. Please also note that SplashZone will celebrate the 4th with Independence Dollar Day where everyone gets in for $1. Rolla City Hall and the Environmental Services Department will also be closed on Monday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day Holiday. Monday’s trash will be picked up on Tuesday and Tuesday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday. In addition, the Rolla City Council meeting, normally held on the first Monday of the month, will be held on Tuesday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (901 N. Elm Street).
   I hope you have a safe and memorable July 4th weekend. And, let’s not forget the sacrifices that have been made and continue to be made by thousands of members of the U.S. Armed Services who allow us all to enjoy the freedoms and festivities over the Fourth of July and throughout the year.


Ray Schweikhardt said...

These bike trails are nice for those that use them but at a time that the city and the fed gov do not have the money to adequately cover the necessities I think that it is time to put a halt to the construction of any new ones. They may cost the city little to build but they add to an already over stretched parks maintenance fund.

They are built using some sort of
"transportation" grant. To me the proper use of transportation moneys is to facilitate getting people and products from point A to point B. The trails only function is entertainment because they very rarely go from point A to B.

Anonymous said...

I understand where Mr. Schweikhardt is coming from. We don't have bike lanes in Rolla for them to safely travel with motor traffic and some of our sidewalks are uneven and unsafe for walking or electric wheelchair use. I am frustrated by those bicyclist who insist whether due to ignorance or stupidity on traveling the wrong way with motorist and walkers, many times with children, that walk in the road (often with traffic) or jay walk at busy locations. It would be nice if they are simply out for exercise if they would take advantage of the trails and get off the road.
Too often I do think they are trying to get from point A to point B. For that reason I would support a bridge over Bishop/63 hwy before someone hits a jaywalker dressed in dark clothes crossing at night, fixing or extending sidewalks for electric wheelchairs, etc. before using the money to extend the trail, as nice as that would be.

Anonymous said...

You know, a pedestrian bridge over Highway 63 wouldn't solve the problem of the jaywalkers. People would find it convenient to cross mid-block, as they do now. How many college kids have you braked for as they cross over to Gale Bullman at 9th St. and 63? I know I've stopped for many. Have you driven north on Pine from 12th St. to 63? There are mandatory (for cars) stops at new crosswalks--it seems like every 1/2 block--and the college kids still have to cross in between THOSE. I thought pedestrians had some responsibility to stop and look for cars..."stop, look, and listen" was the mantra, no? seems like now it's basically like trying to drive on a pedestrian mall. Not much give and take, it seems.

Anonymous said...

Above comment was mine. Let me be perfectly clear: I am not advocating for the construction of a pedestrian mall on north Pine St.