Tri-Valley Trail Plan Update - State Legislatures write letter to DNREC leadership opposing 10-12 foot width. Big thanks to all the trail users who attended the Tri-Valley Trail Plan Open House. Your participation makes a difference. Letter is below;
PAUL S. BAUMBACH
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
STATE OF DELAWARE
411 LEGISLATIVE AVENUE
DOVER, DELAWARE 19901
Manufactured Housing, Chair
House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce
House Housing & Community Affairs
House Revenue & Finance
House Telecommunication Internet & Technology
May 2nd, 2016
To: Secretary David Small, Mr. Matthew Chesser, and Mr. Ray Bivens
Fr: Representatives Baumbach, Miro, Ramone & Senators Sokola, Peterson
Re: Trail Plans for White Clay Creek State Park
As the members of the Delaware General Assembly representing the areas surrounding the White Clay Creek State Park, we would like to share our thoughts and concerns regarding the current plans for the Tri-Valley Trail, which DNREC's Division of Parks has been developing for several years, and for which there was a public meeting held recently, in advance of several fairly big decisions on the trail's details.
We are very appreciative that Parks has held the public hearings. We strongly urge Parks to give great credence to opinions shared by the many participants in your open house and online survey. We understand that a vast majority of public comments received by the Division objects to the 10-12 foot trail width proposal. It would be very disappointing if Parks "overrides" widely and deeply held opinions shared at the very opportunities that the Division organized to solicit this input.
One topic in particular concerns each of us, the trail width for the proposed trail. We all feel that the trail should be 5-8 feet in width, and should not be 10-12 feet in width.
While we have heard uniform public opinion preferring the 5-8 foot width, this is not the only reason for our request. The northern portion of this trail will traverse a portion of the WCCSP which has never had a trail through it. To suddenly install a 'highway' (as a WCCSP trail user described a trail with a 10-12 foot width) is dramatic. Dramatic is a worthy goal in some pursuits; creating an accessible avenue to introduce the public to a beautiful, pristine piece of nature deserves an absence of such drama. Here, less is more.
Furthermore, more is not warranted. This trail will most likely be fed by the county Paper Mill Park connector trail, which is only five feet wide. The White Clay Trail Plan specifically discusses the Tri-Valley Trail as being 5-8 feet in width. This would meet the trail goals of a multi-purpose, accessible trail which connects to other trails outside and inside WCCSP.
Finally, I saw a memo on the trail plans from the Division which referred to AASHTO guidelines. We are mystified why guidelines from an organization dedicated to transportation, roads, air, and rails, has any bearing on decisions regarding a multi-use trail through a natural state park. DelDOT didn't consult the TrailSpinners when designing the I95 flyover ramp, and the Division of Parks and Recreation should not be relying on AASHTO guidelines for this project. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss this important matter further with you in the future.
Paul Baumbach, State Representative 23rd District
Joseph Miro, State Representative, 22nd District
Michael Ramone, State Representative 21st District
David Sokola, State Senator 8th District
Karen Peterson, State Senator 9th District