Trail Hits A Road Block

Trail liability stops Safe Connections from trekking forward anytime soon. The grass roots organization at Beaver Lake that formed three years ago and has worked on establishing a walking/ biking trail north of Beaver Lake did not get the permission of the Cass County Board of Commissioners to use road right-of-way on the north side of the lake area.

The Cassgram reports Theresa McClatchey of Safe Connections addressed the board Tuesday and said the trail proposal had progressed to the point that the participation of the county—allowing the use of the ROW—was needed so the next phases of planning could continue. She said she understood the request is “a little out-of-the-box” but said she represented “the people and the families that want to ride their bikes and be healthy.”

Beaver Lake is in Commissioner District 5 and the county board representative of that district, Duane Murdoch, said the proposed trail poses a “super liability” issue and that “is a fact” the county cannot ignore. The hilly terrain of the road and its ROW, and trail maintenance questions are also factors working against the trail, he said.

Murdoch made the motion that eventually passed 4 to 1. After being tweaked a couple times, the motion said the county will not grant usage of Rock Bluff Road right-of-way for trail purposes from this time forward.

Board Chairperson Janet McCartney said the county roads department will take a look at Safe Connections’ concerns about the 45 mph speed limit and make any recommendations on whether it should be lowered.

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