Group asks public to shape trail network in midvalley
A citizens committee is trying to enlist midvalley residents to figure out how and where to design a trail network so pedestrians and bicyclists can travel safely between Basalt, El Jebel and outlying areas.The MidValley Trails Committee is holding a master plan meeting at 6 p.m. March 2 in the Eagle County Community Building in El Jebel.Committee Chairwoman Jacque Whitsitt said the committee has some projects under way and regards others as high priorities. This master plan meeting will be like a reality check to make sure the public wants the same things as the committee. If not, priorities can be adjusted, Whitsitt said.A planning project is already under way to determine the feasibility of establishing a trail along the old Stage Road, which parallels lower Frying Pan Road.The group will also work with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority this spring to build a trail on Hooks Bridge and at its approaches to connect the Willits Trail with the Hooks Spur Road. It will improve a parking lot that already informally exists.The committee has also opened discussions with Eagle County on building a trail along El Jebel Road, where there is a heavy volume of traffic and large number of pedestrians.Whitsitt said the committee needs other ideas for trails from midvalley residents. The committee also wants creative solutions to make all the necessary trails a reality.The MidValley Trails Committee, which is an official branch of Eagle County government, receives a pro-rated amount of transit sales tax revenues in Eagle County. Last year that amounted to about $30,000.Eagle County government also provided funding for a part-time staffer, who helped the committee gain momentum on several projects in late 2005, Whitsitt said.But the reality is, the organization needs to land grants for any chance to make a dent in midvalley trail needs, she said.