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This was actually a very positive development. It's hard to get facts or feel for things from the Gazette. The negative staff report by Glenn Orlin (who actually supports bikes a lot) was just a recommendation to the Council, and the Council didn't take it. They kept the best path alignment in the master plan for the most critical section in the park area, against the strong wishes of the Planning Department. The Planning Department was playing semantic games to justify its decision to remove the park portion of the trail from the plan. We asked the COuncil to override this and they did. Councimember Floreen chastised the Board for ignoring an explicit directive from the Council in 2005 to leave the trail through the park in the plan. DOT (Bob Simpson is quoted) did not support widening the alternate trail (along New Hampshire, Fairland, etc.) which would be a good project and we'll continue to push for it. but I think he had concerns that that trail could actually make it harder to get the desired trail. There were some portions of the end-to-end ICC trail however that were not kept in the plan, but not as critical as this section. I can elaborate on that later.

Given that the Route 29/ICC interchange is going to be a freeway-to-freeway style interchange (since Route 29 is already pretty close to freeway through that area), how do they expect to thread a bike/ped route through that interchange?

OK, I see what you mean about the council staff report. Yes, there is limited usable space and it would take some rigorous engineering to keep environmental impacts at the very low level the Planning Department allows in the parks (except for the ICC apparently). Council staff was basically laying out the environmental situation to the Council so it could make an informed decision. But staff's comment implying that chances are "miniscule" underestimates public and Council support for this trail, horribly devastating though it might be. I guess the county won't be truly safe from environmental destruction until no six-lane highways have any trails next to them.

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