ABOVE: From a previous post on SPRAWLED OUT: An example of a trail that is certainly "recreational," but A) does not connect any destinations (it merely loops through a park), and B) empties into a blind curve on a suburban speedway, further shielded by trees and shrubs (indicated with green boxes).
The City of Franklin has been working for some time on a new Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, and is now inviting public input.
I encourage people to come to the open house and make their concerns about CONNECTIVITY in the city of Franklin heard. As a member of the city's Trails Committee, I am sorry to report that there is precious little interaction between us and the city's Parks Commission. In fact, there has been considerable tension in Trails Committee meetings when I or any other member made requests for information on the ongoing Recreation plan.
A member or the Parks Commission who also sits on the Trails Committee has made it clear that he considers the trails proposed by the Parks Commission as completely separate and unrelated to the sidewalk and trail network we on the Trails Committee are trying to create. He has repeatedly spoken in "us vs. you" terms when the subject of funding comes up.
The problem is this: Trails are, indeed, recreational. However, it's time to look at trails as part of the city's overall connectivity plan. Trails (and sidewalks) are infrastructure, and it's important that we provide a way to get from place to place in Franklin without a car.
The Parks Commission, unfortunately, does NOT plan trails with usefulness or connectivity in mind. To the Parks Commission, trails are mere recreational playthings. Take a look at our current trail system (and some of the insanely dangerous junctures with blind curves on roads) and you'll agree,
This will not be my last post on the subject (nor is it the first), but please mark your calendar for January 24th, 6-8pm, and plan to attend the open house so you can voice your concerns regarding making Franklin travel-friendly for children, the elderly, and differently abled persons.
I've pasted some material from the city's press release below, and linked to fellow Trails Committee member Greg Kowalski's Scribed-posted PDF:
This update is set forth in a draft document entitled Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: 2025 for the City of Franklin, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. This Plan is being prepared to maintain the City’s eligibility to participate in many cost-sharing programs for the acquisition and development of its park, open space, and outdoor recreation system. When completed, the updated Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan will look 15 years into the future at the City’s anticipated park, open space, and outdoor recreation needs.
Before the draft is completed, the Planning Department staff of the City of Franklin would like to provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions and to provide additional comments about this draft Plan. Therefore, an Open House has been scheduled for January 24, 2011, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Community Room at the City of Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road.
Copies of maps and other select information from the draft Plan will be on display at the Open House. The entire draft Plan will be available for viewing on the City website and at the offices of the Planning Department approximately one week before the Open House.
It is envisioned that the public comments provided at the Open House will be summarized and provided to the City of Franklin Parks Commission for their review and consideration immediately after the Open House or as soon thereafter as the Parks Commission may determine.
If you have any questions, or need additional information, please feel free to contact the Planning Department at 414-425-4024, or visit the City of Franklin website at www.franklinwi.gov.