by Jacob Jones
With dozens of public paths and trails crisscrossing the region, county officials hope to gather feedback on a new draft plan that sets out projects and priorities on expanding the Spokane trail system. Released last month, the 54-page Draft Regional Trail Plan includes a framework for connecting existing trails and improving future access to recreational areas.
"Demand for trails and trail-related activities has grown substantially since 1994 and is projected to continue growing over the next several decades," the plan states, adding, "Not providing an adequate supply of trails could lead to over-use, which in turn often leads to the degradation of the trail itself, user conflict … and a lower quality experience that may turn away residents looking to maintain a health lifestyle."
Projects include closing gaps in the Centennial Trail between downtown and Riverside State Park, converting additional abandoned railroad beds into trails and creating new pedestrian bypasses over regional highways. The plan also outlines potential funding sources.
View the entire draft plan online. A display on the update draft plan is also available for viewing at the STA Plaza. An open house to answer questions and collect public comment is schedule from 5:30-7:30 pm Tuesday at REI on North Monroe Street.
Comments can also be submitted online to county Park Planner Paul Knowles at firstname.lastname@example.org until Jan. 7.