Duluth Comp Plan and Trail Network Implementation

27 05 2007

The final report of the City of Duluth Comprehensive Land Use Plan has been released recently, and has some good material regarding trail networks and bicycle access.  Thanks to some great input to the Comp planning team from a couple of DATA’s board members, the Duluth Comp Plan includes some good implementation strategies for trail networks and bicycle access.  You can view the entire Implementation section of the Comp plan here:  http://www.ci.duluth.mn.us/city/compplanfinal/Chapters/6_ImpFinal.pdf

Go to page 48 of the 68 page Implementation section .pdf to find the Trail network and bicycle access section (actual report page 124).

Some highlights from this section (the entire section is actually a hightlight:-):

tischercreektrail.jpg“T13. Create a trails and greenways master plan that identifies standards for trail connectivity, links origins and destinations, and identifies priorities for trail categories, user groups, and investments:

A. Work with non-profit trail groups to identify trail connections and to leverage public funds with volunteer trail construction and enhancement of existing trails and greenways. [that’s DATA!]

B. Link neighborhoods to the parks and green spaces offered for recreational enjoyment. [uh-huh!]

C. Identify trail right-of-way needs and potential links to existing or planned trail systems across undeveloped lands. [Yes!!!]

D. Incorporate the existing informal trail system across undeveloped lands. [GPS’d trails anyone?!?!]

E. Create a trail network map showing connections, trail types and surfaces, easement and right-of-way search corridors, and priority investments. A conceptual trail connections system is portrayed in Figure I-20. Trail types and surfaces should relate to a clear hierarchy of trail users and the potential need for 1-lane or 2-lane trails, and possible upgrading of trails and rights-of-way in the future. [the DATA trail prioritization process!]compplantrailmap.jpg

T17. Keep trail maintenance costs low in the following ways:

A. Work to enhance existing volunteer efforts and publicly recognize the volunteers from non-profit user groups that perform trail maintenance and building (i.e. Cyclists of the Gitchee Gummee Shores, Lake Superior Hiking Trail Association, Duluth XC Ski Club, Sustainable Trails Alliance[that’s DATA!  Just didn’t have the correct name at the time:-)], etc.).

B. Keep most trails in the system as single track multi-use, but create rights-of-way that allow for widening as trail usage increases or the need for separation between user types warrants additional width

T18. Encourage commuting by bicycle:

A. Identify arterial routes for bicycle and include consideration of bike traffic flow when designing intersections, timing signals, and signing roads.

B. Develop bicycle-friendly street design standards, including:

i. keeping storm water covers perpendicular to street

ii. creating standards for marked bicycle lanes and incorporate into street design standards.

T19. Promote Duluth’s trail system and trail connections to the region.

A. Advertise trails to residents, visitors, and in business recruitment efforts.

These are just a few of the trail and bicycle access hightlights.  Take a look at this section yourself and also the Land Use Implementation section.  This is a great place to start.  We’ve got some strong support right here in the City of Duluth for what we’re doing according to the new Comprehensive Plan.  Now, we just need to hold the City to what they’ve described in the Comp plan, improve and build upon it, and start making this trail system a reality!





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