Winter trail plowing may become a parks priority

That's right - here in Minneapolis they want to do snow removal (we got about 80" last year) in the parks!!!

With thier twised logic - everything is justifyable, using phrases like "residents in many communities" and "uneven access " and "people have a higher expectation".

I am convinced that we are going to have to fail, fall flat on our faces, before anything ever changes.

Since the mid-1990s, when the first regional trails were opened in Hennepin County, the west suburban park district has maintained the trails between March 31 and Nov. 15 but has never gone to the expense of keeping them free of snow and ice during the winter.

Because residents in many communities want to use the trails for winter walking, biking, running and skiing, about 16 cities -- including Minnetonka, Excelsior, Eden Prairie, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center -- each year have agreed to add the trails to city plowing routes.

In that fashion, about 55 miles of the 130-mile regional trail system are maintained in the winter. That patchwork approach creates uneven access and can make it difficult for winter bikers to use them for commuting

Use of the trails has increased and people have a higher expectation for their maintenance, he said. "The regional trails are a regional benefit. We can't segregate them to individual communities any longer."

Research this winter will be necessary to see what kind of use is being made of the trails, where use is heaviest and how much the cities spend on maintaining them, he said.