In the June 12 Durango Herald article regarding the proposed river trail extension, it appears that Cathy Metz has misrepresented some facts. She said, Its become evident that there was a very strong desire from the majority of the public that the segment of the trail be located on the east side (of the tracks). This was referring to the trail alignment north of 39th Street.
This majority of the public in reality represents about half a dozen people who rent spaces in Ted Coopers mobile-home park. These are only a few people in the parks 122 homes. This east-side alignment will deny reasonable access to the trail for the many people who live in the mobile-home park. The only access point for many of these park residents will be a third of a mile to the north. So to get to City Market or downtown, these folks will have to walk a third of a mile in the wrong direction or they will have to climb the fence and cross the railroad tracks to access the trail. This will create a safety issue. If the trail was on the west side, access would be easy.
The east-side alignment also will cost taxpayers more. It will require extensive engineering for the trail and mitigation of wetlands intrusion. Additionally, it will require the removal of about 80 trees on private property.
It appears that this so-called majority of the public actually has little to do with the citys proposed alignment change. It seems that the city staff has another reason for suggesting this change, and it appears that this is being done to the detriment of providing a trail that makes sense for those who will be using it. I believe that the City Council needs to look at this more closely to determine the real reason for this proposed change.
Tim Wolf, Durango