EDCTC Funds Trail on Francisco Drive

Trail (paved path) at Francisco Drive

Trail (paved path) at Francisco Drive

The El Dorado County Transportation Commission (EDCTC) approved state funding, According to Wendy Schultz at the Mountain Democrat, to connect existing trail segments and add a class 2 bike lane.

“The EDCTC also approved $150,000 in State Exchange Transportation Enhancement funds at the request of the El Dorado County Community Development Agency for bicycle and pedestrian facilities on El Dorado Hills Boulevard and Francisco Drive. Of that $50,000 will be used to construct shoulders and Class II Bike Lanes on Francisco Drive and $100,000 will extend the existing pedestrian path at Francisco Drive along El Dorado Hills Boulevard to Brittany Way. Construction is anticipated for the summer of 2014.”

EDHtrails has created a photo map tour of the project area.

This is very useful “connector” project in that it connects 2 disjointed trail segments. I’ve personally heard stories from moms with young kids who complain how difficult it is to bike or push a stroller with kids to Safeway. The community will appreciate this connection. Kuddos to the County for solving a trail issue.

My only beef with it is the cost. So often things are held up as worthy causes without weighing the costs.  I’m not suggesting the county officials didn’t weigh the cost-benefits in this instance. What I’m saying, generally speaking, is that politicians say “I will give you X” and the public responds with “yes give me X” without full disclosure of the high costs, trade-offs, and alternatives. I see it happen time and time again on a wide variety of topics. That said, this paved connector was an obvious trail issue needing a solution.

The timing is curious, though. The County is undergoing new transportation modeling related to the LUPPU effort. So what I’m wondering is if the new modeling takes this project into consideration. If so, then what are the net effects to housing capacity and landuse change proposals as a result of this project?

Map photo tour of project along Francisco Dr to Brittany Pl.

Map photo tour of project along Francisco Dr to Brittany Pl.

The connector is $100,000 to build and measures an estimated 360 yards (0.2 miles)  long.  As an interesting point of reference nearby here, the industrious people (Murieta Trail Stewardship) down in Rancho Murieta have built approx 14 MILES of rugged dirt trails for a few thousand dollars and a lot of volunteer labor.  Just saying.

Click this link to see the map tour.

Remember to voice your support for more dirt trails by signing the online petition.

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