This image is taken from the Centennial Trail Mast Plan. The initial route shown above as "Phase 3 Shared Use Path and Crossings" in orange and blue was planned assuming yet to be seen subdivision development, acquisition of railroad right-of-way, and additional funds. The alternative endorsed by the City Commission last Wednesday will capitalize on existing right-of-way, planned improvement to the Leslie/Joslyn/Country Club Intersection, and partnerships with entities to the west.
Last Wednesday, the Helena City Commission direct staff to apply remaining CTEP funds to a pedestrian crossing at Roberts ($30,000), a crossing near CR Anderson Middle School ($25,000), and towards continuing Centennial Trail West ($400,000+) to provide a safe ADA, biking and walking connection from the Westside of Helena to Spring Meadow State Park. The new route for Centennial Trail West will utilize existing right-of-way along Joslyn ("A."), a trail along the mostly undeveloped platted section of Leslie Street ("B." or "B.-F."), and West to park along Country Club with a separated asphalt path or sidewalk depending on available right-of-way, utility easements, and water drainage.
A safe connection for children, families, and commuters is long overdue in this area. The City Commission should continue to develop the remaining areas of the trail, especially a ADA/Bike/Pedestrian bridge across Henderson Street and a safe crossing at Benton.
An alternative route exploring a connection of area "F." and "C." to connect to the park should also be explored.
More details from a related post linked here.
- Matt E