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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments

We are Coloradans who fell in love with the Katy after bicycling its entire length in June 2005. I was recently back and discovered a problem that needs addressing: connectivity. By this I mean non-motorized access to the trail from adjacent communities. My daughter lives 2.5 miles from the Greens Bottom trailhead, but the road to access it is not safe for cyclists or walkers. Isn't it a bit ridiculous that a person has to drive to the trail to take a walk? Part of the route is OK, along Caulks Hill Rd because there is a sidewalk, but the 1/2 mile or so immediately adjacent to the trail is narrow and winding with no shoulder or sidewalk. It's a shame that the neighborhoods that are so close to the trail don't have safe access to it for adults and, especially for children. What can be done about this?
posted Jun 16 2006 9:37PM - Sarah McGregor, Denver

The problem stems from vocal NIMBYs that want to drive everywhere from their residences. They consider the inability to walk or ride to parks, schools, shops, or work is desirable because they feel it insulates them safe from homeless or criminal elements that can't afford to drive. This is especially true in St. Charles County which is a model for white flight and sprawl. As an example of this mentality, read this thread:
"Where will the expanded Katy Trail be located on the south side of the Page Extension? I live there and am distressed to learn it may pass less than 20 feet from my bedroom window. . ."
posted Jun 17 2006 9:54AM - Nails

...also the issues that the Rails to Trails Conservancy has with trails being close to residential areas nation wide...one of the most specific complaints by residential Home Owners Assn's is "....that people on the trail will be urinating in our yards". It's that kind of mentality (what "Nails" is talking about i.e. lower socio-economic groups also). The only place I've seen indigents on bicycles are in big city urban areas and Key West, FL. Folks on the KATY or other long trails/routes seem to me to be (and I could be wrong here) functional & tax paying citizens. Nothing against anybody on a bike, and call me quirky, but its unique when you see a "Hobo camp" and there are bicycles parked all around like in Key West. Regards.....Mark of the Dalton Boys
posted Jun 20 2006 9:06AM - Mark of the Dalton Boys, Austin, TX/Columbia, MO.

Hear! Hear! Mark

I just came back from a visit to my in-laws in Fort Worth, Texas. I used to live there myself,attending high school and college there, and enjoy visiting, but it would behoove folks in St. Charles County, Warren County and Lincoln County to take a good, hard look at the DFW area.

Way, way, WAY too much sprawl. Traffic is a nightmare. Buildings that were thrown up in the '80s and '90s look dated and are falling to pieces in many instances. And the walkability/bikeability is nil. The area has lost a lot of its charm, as a result.

Unfortunately, things I see happening in Warren and St. Charles counties seem to mirror what has been going on in Tarrant County for 30 years -- Including the NIMBY element.

Fort Worth does have the Trinity Trails system that is very nice, but seems to be under-utilized. We should be thankful for the Katy. Lets hope that sprawl in St. Charles and Boone County doesnt ruin it some day in the future.
posted Jun 20 2006 1:30PM - gc, Columbia, Mo

Funny you should mention the Trinity Trails System...Ft. Worth is trying, Dallas isn't and the DFW Metroplex will end up in the future with something that cojoins the two cities...remember they do have a reasonably well established light rail system that works well,(rails WITH trails?) and that train that shuttles between Dallas and Ft. Worth....mass transit, love it. Metrolink a good one as well...hauled a bike on it even. I rode the Trinity for the first time about a month ago, (the main trunk) and enjoyed it well enough...it was o dark thirty in the morning before anyone was out running. Your basic point is well taken, and made...where else can you get on a cyclists "superhighway" thats about 225 miles long...one way!!! Ultimately it "all" will be a forced issue.....no pipeline from outer space you know, Dr. Hawkings take notwithstanding. Excuse the drone...I'm passionate about these issues. When in doubt...ride your bike and enjoy the voyage...Mark of the Dalton Boys
posted Jun 20 2006 4:33PM - Mark of the Dalton Boys, Austin, TX/Columbia, MO.

I originally avoided the temptation to mention Metrolink in my discussion. Now that you've pulled my string. . . It's no secret that many St. Charles residents voted against Metrolink because they feared the crime it would bring across their moat. It's overt enough that a priest chastised his flock for such reasoning.
posted Jun 20 2006 9:38PM - Nails

I avoided that, too, Nails.
This is starting to get off topic, but I will just say that I think we are of the same mind on this.
posted Jun 21 2006 8:02AM - gc, Columbia

Tags: St Charles, Greens Bottom Trailhead, Camping, Shuttles, Hiking, Running Modify Tags

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