Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Great Falls Trail Fantasy

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Great Falls Trail Fantasy

The letter from Bob Pannier regarding the fantasy of a trail from River Bend Road to the Village Center (“Pike Trail Still Incomplete,” Great Falls Connection, May 3-9, 2017) brought back 34 years of frustration over the booklets and empty promises of Great Falls Citizens Association. I finally gave up sending letters to the Connection and GFCA, or leaving comments on draft plans displayed at the Library. It became obvious, by the ridiculous trail planning, as well as most other projects supported by the GFCA, that the citizens needs were unimportant. The people of Great Falls would like to walk, or bicycle to the Park or the Village Center, but definitely not to Sterling or Reston. Who comes up with these ideas?

The very first, and most obvious phase for a trail should have been between River Bend Park and the Village Center via Weant Drive, Arnon Chapel Road, and Walker Road. There were many opportunities to produce this trail at minimal cost if it were accomplished when gas line, water main (and hydrants), or communications cable projects, went in. Even power line clearing efforts could have facilitated a trail installation. If contractors were asked to leave a clear path instead of restoring the rough natural terrain after each project, the Trail Blazers could have covered the path with mulch, or crumb rubber on weekends. Even I would volunteer to help if the project was rational.

I am now too old to enjoy a walk to the Park or the Village Green, but I might get a powered wheelchair or maybe a “trail bike” for my birthday.

Gene Phillip

Great Falls