I wonder if the reaction to the proposed realignment of a section of the Iron Horse Trail, as written up in today's Record, might be a little over the top.
The story, quoting local transportation activist and cycling supporter Mike Boos and Life on a Bike blogger Chris Klein (both members of the Tri-Cities Transport Action Group, aka TriTAG), is about the vestigial tail end of the trail, a section from Park Street to Caroline Street in Waterloo. The Iron Horse Trail effectively ends at Caroline, where cyclists, inline skaters and walkers are dumped onto the road and sidewalks. Mady Development Corp., which has already begun work on 144 Park, wants this last bit shuffled over to a property line, so that there's a condo on one side and a parking garage on the other: effectively, Iron Horse Trail users would burp out onto Caroline from a valley of concrete.
Boos and Klein fear this could ruin this end of the trail. Certainly, it may not be an appealing entry point, certainly not as nice as the shaded path that is there now. And I can imagine many graffiti opportunities. We should want to make bicycle infrastructure more appealing, not less appealing.
But the developer is promising to widen the trail, designate ped and bike lanes and add some public art. Might not be so bad. And frankly, the actual transition from the trail to Caroline Street that exists now is not pretty. I have often wondered if something better could be done with it. Maybe this will be it.