Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Case for Multi-Use Trail in Brook Run

Yesterday my blog included an editorial piece by former councilman Danny Ross against the city's nearly $1 million expenditure on an impervious concrete trail in Brook Run Park. 
To be fair, today's post is by bicycle enthusiast Joe Seconder, on why this path is needed.

Why reinvent the wheel? In February 2011, I provided the (linked) material which was posted on Heneghan's Dunwoody Blog. It received plenty of comments & feedback of all sorts. I just wanted to re-post it here for a refresher and reminder. The same facts and thoughts hold true today.

I detailed an actual trail in Walnut Creek, CA -- The Iron Horse Trail. When completed, the trial will span 40 miles connecting two counties and nine communities. Interestingly, the demographics of Walnut Creek & Dunwoody are VERY similar. Yet depending on who you speak with in our town, the support or opposition of Multi-Use trails is very DIS-similar.
Click Cycling Joe to read more.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Is Dunwoody in Need of Cement Trail?

Is Dunwoody in need of the nearly $1 million impervious concrete trail that is about to be constructed through Brooke Run Park?  I really don't know.  Danny Ross, the former city councilman, was among those who initially voted to approve a $30,000 expenditure by the city for a "walking trail."  It has since morphed into an entirely different project.
Danny asked me to blog the article that he wrote in the Dunwoody Reporter.  It is certainly worth the read!

To the editor:

In just a few days, bulldozers and chain saws are scheduled to arrive at Brook Run Park, one of the last urban forests in our community, to construct the equivalent of one lane of I-285, where speeds of 70 mph are allowed, and in some areas cut down enough trees (a 50-foot-wide swath) to build four lanes on I-285. Over 330 trees will be cut to make way for this so called multi-use trail. It does not make sense!
Two years ago, the city completed a master plan with significant community input. During the development of the plan, the consulting firm conducted a survey and found that the number one desire of the citizens was to have “walking trails” through the park.

The City Council, of which I was one of the members, authorized the director of parks and recreation to seek out grant funds to construct this trail.
Before becoming a park, Brook Run had previously been home to the Georgia Retardation Center. Many years ago, six-foot trails were built to provide walking paths for the residents. Over the years, these trails deteriorated. In 2011, the city received a $100,000 grant to construct an eight-foot wide trail in the location of the original trails. This made sense. Without cutting any of the urban forest the entire trail (1.3 miles) could be completed and the city would only have to pay $30,000.
Click Dunwoody Reporter to read full opinion piece.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DHA Discusses Village Parkway - Your Chance for Input

The Dunwoody Homeowners Association holds its December meeting tonight, and there are two items on the agenda that should be of great interest to most all of us who live in the city. 
The first is discussion of the improvements to Dunwoody Village Parkway.  Click on Dunwoody Village Parkway to view the plans presented by the city.  At this evening's meeting, we will hear from the Dunwoody Village Design Review Committee (separate from the city, chaired by DHA member Bill Robinson) on the improvements it has made to the city's plans (unlike a city council meeting where public input is minimal, at DHA meetings you will have a chance to have your say).
I agree, the city has done a poor job of explaining why the redesign of the parkway is necessary.  I believe the city feels, first and foremost, the addition of sidewalks is essential to any redevelopment of the Village - not only for walkers and runners, but for events like the 4th of July parade.  If you read www.savedunwoody.com, a simple repaving and restriping of the lanes will do the trick.  And to a certain extent, I believe Save Dunwoody is correct.  However, it would be a Jerry-rigged solution, and at the end of the day, Dunwoody is a first-class community, and needs a first-class solution.  Sure, we would save about $1 million by simply restriping and pruning trees, but the money is already budgeted, and the city is not asking for a tax increase for the improvements. 
Is the Design Review Committee's plan an improvement of the city's?  I have no idea, but I will be in attendance this evening to find out (the public is welcome and encouraged to attend as well).  The DHA meeting is held in Room 4 at the Spruill Cultural Arts Center, which is the building attached to the library.  The meeting starts at 7:30pm, and is usually over in 60-90 minutes (you can leave at anytime).

The second item of interest is discussion of the proposed City of Dunwoody School system.  Is this a pie-in-the-sky idea?  Sure it is.  But so was the city of Dunwoody.  And, at the end of the day, having our own school system would increase the value of our homes and community by leaps-and-bounds.  I look forward to the discussion.