The Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail jumped another hurdle this week when the Edina Park Board approved a creek-based route for the trail.
A hot political issue in the city, the trail is a biking and walking path that by 2014 is supposed to stretch from Hopkins to the Minnesota River in Bloomington and link to other biking and pedestrian trails in the area.
Three Rivers Park District had proposed two possible routes: one running mostly along Nine Mile Creek, another using roads. Neither route would require easements from anyone owning a single-family home, but some stretches of the creek-based route would cross between homes and the creek along city-owned right-of-way. Some homeowners had objected to that.
8 SAY CREEK, 1 SAYS NO
On Tuesday, eight of the park board's 10 voting members supported the creek-based route. Park Board Chairman Joseph Hulbert said the creek route was safer, crossing fewer roads and driveways. Member Keeya Steel said it was time for Edina residents, who are taxed by the park district, to benefit from their contributions to the park system.
The only "no" vote came from member Todd Fronek, who said he thought the city should wait until the Canadian Pacific railroad is ready to allow its rail line to be used as a trail. He said he did not think the creek route would encourage commuting.
Member Randy Meyer abstained because he is chairman of Edina's school board, which has not yet taken a position on the trail.
NEXT UP: CITY COUNCIL
The Park Board's recommendation goes to the City Council on Dec. 7. The council will hold a public hearing and is expected to vote on a route that day.
Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380