First, I met with a guy named Eric, who is a cyclist who lives out by Albi stadium. If you've been paying attention a bit, you'll note that the "Pool Bond" passed. In the pool bond is $40 million to complete a sports complex out at Joe Albi stadium. In addition to the soccer and softball fields, which are sort of interesting, the new complex will include a BMX park. Very cool. So there's that, and I'm interested in that. My buddy Jon at Outthere Monthly made an interesting observation a while back: take a look at what the city did with the skate park under the freeway. It's not really a success. Who was involved with planning that project? Take a look at Hillyard's: it's a success. Why? As the city looks to build another kid-attraction with the BMX park, we should make sure we can answer the Why around the skate parks before we deploy the bulldozers.
But it wasn't BMX'ing that brought me out to Albi this morning at 8 AM, it was a potential for a multi-use path that could be built between Albi Stadium and Aubrey White Park Way. Wierd, right? There's a bunch of goo that is not interesting really to go into here: but it has to do with some land swapping between the city and a cemetery, some typical developer chicanery going on next to Riverside State Park, and some local neighborhood folks that want to see a bunch of urban forest conserved.
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The end-result is that we could see an opportunity for a really neat connection, which I've kind of guesstimated here based on the tromp through the snow that Eric took me on. This would be a great commuter as well as a great recreational connection. If you're on Aubrey White, the way into this neighborhood today is up Rifle Club Road and onto 291, which is a flipp'ing nasty road to ride. The next opportunity to get up into the NW neighborhood is way down at Downriver.
After Eric showed me around the area, I rode downtown and went to a BAB meeting where we attempted to chisel out some basic framework bike routes for the city. We've been building up to this meeting for a long time, in fact we had Louise McGrody from BAW fly in specifically for this meeting. In addition, we had a fellow from the Nat'l Park Service (where we scored some grant money for technical assistance in building our master bike plan) also join us. This was good.
We came up with a high level frame work and some pretty concrete ideas on prioritization. I think the next step will be to sharpen it up a bit and start shopping it around the neighborhoods for feedback.
We're getting somewhere man. This is good stuff.