By ERIC X. VICCARO
Federal community planners spent Saturday listening to feedback from Ste. Genevieve residents regarding future bike and walking trail use in downtown.
Recently, the National Park Service (NPS) established Ste. Genevieve’s downtown as a historical park – which includes the Welcome Center and several other buildings.
“The first step is always planning,” said Ste. Genevieve city administrator Happy Welch. “It’s beneficial to have a group that has experience doing this.
“This is what they do. They gather public input and give direction on projects.”
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program community planners Michael Mencarini and Ashley Newson joined Welch on Saturday for a pair of public input sessions.
The first session took place during the morning at the NPS’s Jean Baptiste Valle House.
There was a second session at the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center, and roughly 25 people voiced their feelings on the possibility of bicycling and walking trails extending from downtown through the rest of the community.
Keep in mind, this would be a separate project from what the city is trying to accomplish with the Pere Marquette Park Master Plan.
This also is different from the trail system that’s well on the way to being established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service along the levee.
The community planners brought easels providing possible plans.
Trails could feature a dedicated bicycle lane, or marked shoulder, or cars and bikes sharing lanes.
They provided options using existing sidewalks or new multi-use pathways.
Possible trails in downtown could run down Market, Merchant, Jefferson or Washington Streets. Other roads involved are Gabouri, Front and Main Streets and St. Mary’s Road. The downtown network would cover less than one mile.