Glenwood takes up controversial trail
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Glenwood Springs City Council will consider Thursday whether to construct the first phase of the disputed Atkinson Canal Trail.
City staffers recommens constructing the south end of the trail from near the Mountain Market on Threemile Creek to the Cardiff Bridge, at a cost of about $800,000. Initially, a solft-surface trail along the west side of the Roaring Fork River is envisioned.
Ultimately, the trail would reach the Sunlight Bridge and sport a 10-foot-wide paved surface. The total cost of the project is estimated at $4.4 million.
Community Development Director Andrew McGregor said the city has about 85 percent of the easements needed to construct the trail, and is still negotiating with about six property owners.
“We have productive negotiations going on with most of those property owners,” he said.
The city wants to negotiate for the remaining easements rather than resorting to condemning the land.
Attorneys representing both supporters and critics of the trail have, in the past, threatened to sue the city if it proceeds, or if it doesn’t.
Trail supporters say the City Council has no legal authority to deviate from the trail’s location because voters approved public funding for the trail as part of the city’s river corridor plan. Opponents contend a concrete bike trail would harm wildlife habitat, invade their privacy and lead to problems such as littering and vagrancy. They maintain that easements behind homes on Hager Lane do not allow for a bike corridor.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Glenwood Springs City Hall.