Spotted Utilized: Social Trail
We often think of social trails in terms of walking, but people under any kind of self-propelling movement share the desire to take the shortest, most logical route; people on bicycles are no exception. This social trail connecting Hull Park to the Traverse City Public Library is a logical connection between the two, and it comes with its own fix for crossing the tracks.
Rail crossings are restrictive as the width is often too narrow for most citizen cyclists to easily ride over. This DIY fix, the arranging of stones to create on and off ramps over the tracks, solves an otherwise aggravating situation: how do you get from the multi-use path in Hull Park to the library (and back again) with-out 1) getting off your bike; or, 2) going almost a 1/4-mile out of your way to reach Woodmere Ave.’s sidewalk or bike lane.
(Interesting to note, 1/4-mile is what planners use to gauge how far the average American will walk before choosing to drive. Pitiful, yes.)
Although this is a nice quick fix for most people, it certainly doesn’t address the problem for people in wheelchairs. Trail crossings of train-tracks, like the recently completed connector on the northwest corner of Hull Park(PDF), is a lengthy process, however, it’s something Traverse City needs to consider in areas where we expect high rates of active transportation.
NOTE: This series title was changed from Spotted: Social Trial to Utilized: Social Trail to better reflect what they are: real means of moving about the community.
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