Originally Posted by tomcryar
I don't think you have the balls to stand up and say what you think to those people. After all, it's the real public, not just another semi-anonymous forum...........
Do you always have to be such an *******?
Here is my response to the report, how's this for having balls:
"I am glad to see that the bridge will be built.
But from a safety standpoint the location is a very bad idea. This will force trail users to ride down the roadway the golfers use to access the golf course. Then trail users will have to make a left turn down close to the Tyson office, then another to cross over I-29. If memory serves there is NO sidewalk or path along any part of these roadways that can be used to keep trail users safer then using the roadway. Once the trail users cross over I-29 they have to make a left turn again at the 4-way stop to access the trail where it starts. Which means they will be crossing in front of oncoming traffic that may want to turn right toward KMEG & I-29 southbound & will not expect trail users to be turning left in front of them.
I could see the headline now. "Angered Family Mourns Loss of Toddler" The story would possibly tell how a toddler was hit by a car because the family using the trail system was walking on the roadway & how if the trail bridge was directly connected to Dunes Trail this could have been prevented. I don't know about you, but I don't want that on my conscious.
I think too many compromises have been made here. I think the Dunes residents opposed to the trail pushed this thinking it will be a deterrent for certain trail users & prevent them from using their trail & having access to their community. I think that is what will happen. The amount of people who will cross on the bridge will not be as many as we are thinking it will be because of the roadways that will be used to directly access the Dunes trail. As far as I'm concerned this is no different then not having the bridge at all.
It's great the money is or will be there. But for this one small step forward we have taken way too many steps back. Too many politics played a role in this that never should have. Too many compromises were made with this because some stuck up snobs want to keep what they view as riff raff out of their elite community. I think a lot of those people forgot where they came from. That community has not been there that long & is not their first home.
The bottom line is unless you're an experienced cyclist used to riding in traffic on roadways & who wants to take a short cut into South Dakota the bridge will not be as used as we think it will or would like it to be.
My opinion is until something can be done to make it safer to access the Dunes Trail with out having to use the roadways this bridge should not be built. Keep the money in place until then, but do not start construction until access can be made safer."
Here is the reply back from the STF president:
"John, our board agreed to support the option the Dunes voted on as a compromise. Without this compromise we would have no connection and loose the money from the Iowa side with no guarantee that it will be available in the future. The political will on the Dunes Board of Supervisor's part was not there to make the direct trail connection."
My return reply:
"So what kind of safe connection option is there for trail users to access the Dunes Trail? isn't there a little dirt or gravel road that is under the I-29 bridge on the South Dakota side that could be paved or have a trail spur built from the roadway for the gold course to the Dunes trail? Who owns or is responsible for that land? The Dunes, the golf course or the South Dakota DOT? It seems if it is public or DOT right of way land the DOT can do what they want with it.
The article in the paper mentioned a fence the Dunes was going to install. Where is this going to go? Where their trail is near I-29 just on the other side the Big Sioux River? If that is where then a direct access with a trail spur may not be possible. The article also mentioned a direct connection on the South Dakota side. What kind if connection do they have in mind? A trail spur as I mentioned above? Also what would it take to get the DOT to put a path along the roadway that is the overpass where traffic exits & enters I-29? Or is that the DOT's responsibility?
Another thing that may not have been looked at is is it legal to walk, roller blade or use some other means of mobility other then bicycle or motor vehicle on the roadways in South Dakota that will be used to cross over to the Dunes trail? Who is responsible for those roadways? There is county, state & possibly city or community. If the Dunes is responsible for the roadways they may adopt ordinances & policies that restrict how users travel on those roadways. They restrict to only bicycle & motor vehicle traffic. This way the only trail users that access their elite community have to do so by bike.
I got to tell you I am disappointed in how this was done. I know the money Sioux City has could be lost if it is not used. Ok, so be it, there is the Cone Grant isn't there? The worst that would have happened is it would take longer for the bridge to be built. But at least it could have been built in a location allowing direct access to their trail system. Meaning it would be safer for all. I do not like the politics behind this. Sioux City & STF compromised to way too much. The Dunes won on this issue more then we think. They only compromised on one thing, having the bridge built. We had to compromise on 9 according to the article in the paper.
There is also another safety aspect to this too. I have been talking about the safety of using the trail from Sioux City to the Dunes. But what about the reveres? There may be Dunes residents wanting to come from their community over to Sioux City & will have to do so on the same roadways I have mentioned to access the bridge. I wonder what will happen when one of them is hurt or killed by a motorists because they forced the bridge to be built where we agreed to put it? Maybe if it happens they will rethink the issue.
Is there a possibility of moving the bridge at a later time to directly connect the 2 trail systems?
The STF's president reply, after which I said no more about it:
"John, we successfully (we think) fought a very tough battle behind the scenes to keep the bridge where it was initially intended, i.e. next to the interstate bridges. This is only a few yards from the Dunes trail. Having sat thru all of the public meetings on this issue at the Dunes and listening to the residents both pro and con, the direct connection would have screwed this up and the bridge, in my personal opinion, would have been lost for MANY years. Is it ideal - NO, is it better than no bridge - ABSOLUTELY ! - Still far safer than Riverside Blvd, for example.
This is still a very fragile situation. Let's get the bridge built. After some initial period, residents who were concerned will see that trail use is a non-issue or even a positive. Those for the direct link will then be able to prevail to get the direct link done.
I understand your disappointment, but compromise does make sense. We will not be effective as an organization if we don't work with the government bodies and those with concerns. This will still be our biggest accomplishment. We have gained numerous new allies for trails in the area and working on this fund raising will do even more along those lines to get things done in the future.
As for the Cone Grant, there is a committee appointed by the City Council working on that. We were not successful in getting anyone on that committee. I don't know what will come out of it for trails. We have several other big issues going also (1) monitoring I-29 for the Chattaqua to Chris Larson (DOT has written to us that they heard us at the public comment meetings and will work towards getting that trail link done in connection with the I-29 re-build. Unfortunately it is a few years away. (2) Still a chance we may get a trail along re-constructed Transit. (3) Dakota City Trail - we are in communication regularly with the Dakota City City Mgr on their work with the Contractor to fix the drainage issues."