This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Planning trails

A third meeting about a Jasper County Trails System plan took place Tuesday afternoon at the Rensselaer branch of the Jasper County Library. (Similar meetings are taking place or will take place in Remington, DeMotte, and Wheatfield). It was lightly attended but the three presenters, from Jasper County Economic Development Organization, the National Park Service, and the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, had some concrete things to report based on the input from the earlier meetings and their working with that input.

The routes that people wanted the most included connections from KV high school to KV middle school, DeMotte to Wheatfield, Rensselaer to the fairgrounds, and Brookside Park to the Countryside subdivision.

The presenters had preliminary maps showing both short-term and long-term possibilities. Most of the proposed bike trails used county roads. The Greenway planner from Northwest Indiana remarked about the sorry state of Rensselaer sidewalks, but that is not news to any Rensselaer resident who uses (or tries to use) them. Longer term, a trail system using routes of the railroads was suggested. Jasper County does not have readily available routes for trails and negotiating access is one of the major obstacles in getting a trail established. The advantage of following the rails is that it requires negotiations with only one landowner, and trails along active railroads have been successful in other places. Rails routes would provide good ways to connect DeMotte and Wheatfield as well as Remington and Wolcott.

I have always wondered how one would make a viable trail network in Rensselaer--I could not see how it could be done. The long-term plan proposed trails along the railroad and the river, with a connection in the west along Brookside Creek and a connection in the east along the Schoolhouse Ditch. Naturally there would also be an extension out to SJC and Lake Banet.

The people at the meeting made some suggestions for changes. Their input along with suggestions from the other three meetings being held will be incorporated into a draft plan that will be presented at the next series of meetings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did not know about the meeting. Please post when the next time, date, and place of this group meets. Thanks.