Saturday, September 11, 2010

Letter to City Manager Garry Brumback

Hello, Mr. Brumback! I'm trying to find the plan for the development of a trail system in and around Baytown, but can't seem to find it. While geocaching (and you may have heard me comment in my videos) I am continually impressed with the large scale development of trails along Fairmont Parkway, Red Bluff Road, and now along McCabe Road in La Porte.

McCabe Road and Fairmont Parkway trails are cement and very wide and this has to have cost a fortune, but where and how are they getting funding? I think it is imperitive if Baytown is to attract higher income families, we push the trail system forward asap.

Baytown native, Larry Houston and I have now successfully placed a large number of geocaches (23) along Goose Creek trail to attract out-of-towners and hopefully they will stop in for a bite to eat while here and as a side benefit, use our trail making it inherently safer. It took the Jenkins Park (Cary Bayou Trail) a long time before it felt safe, but now there are a lot of people using it. Incidentally, there are also 12 geocaches hidden in Jenkins Park/JC Holloway.

Rumors are Lee College wants to become a 4 year college and this further pushes the need for an extensive bike/hike trail system, especially along Goose Creek and its tributaries. Our city's streets and lack of shoulders are literally dangerous to bicyclists and desperately needs better biking trails of distance.

Next is the Jenkins Park trail expansion and the continued development of the Bark Park. The trail expansion should be carefully planned so a 5K distance is achieved, instead of an arbitrary plus or minus that amount. This will allow runners to know their exact distance, making it a perfect place to train for 10k races, etc. The sooner the overall plan is developed, the sooner trees can be planted.

What is the plan concerning the 3 bridges across Cary Bayou? I believe I heard Scott Johnson say they would be replaced.

Concerning the Bark Park: The city should light this park. Next, a flea and tick spray schedule should be placed outside the park and updated monthly.


Anonymous said...

"I was driving through Southlake yesterday and was in awe of their many walking trails. One of the reasons it is such a beautiful area. They all seemed to be well lighted, trimmed, and well kept. That's not counting the actual park/walking/biking trails the area has. Almost every apartment building or block of apartment buildings had one around it. it wasn't just a sidewalk around it either, you could tell by the design it was made to be a walking trail. It was a beautiful Sat morning, and most of them were in use. I noticed that Keller seems to be following in their footsteps. If you want people to buy/move into your city, appeal to their eyes and needs. With doctors pushing to get people out walking... wake-up city managers."

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like a plan to letter should be in there soon that I wrote to the SUN..stay tuned". BD

Anonymous said...

Great letter. I went 30 miles out of my town to ride on a 5 mile bike trail because there aren't any trails around here (Augusta, Ga.) TW

Anonymous said...

Hey Bert, a good while ago they had a city parks planning public meeting and I attended. I wish I had known about your interest in the trails at that time, but it was many months ago. You can ask them about the results of that meeting as well.

There were about 20 citizens there and we put dots and checkmarks on huge posters of what we would like to see. If memory serves, some of the citizen's main focuses were additional trails, further upgrades to Jenkins Park, and possibly a new public community facility (kinda like a city's YMCA). AB

Anonymous said...

I was surprised that interest in rebuilding the boat dock near Bridgewater Events wasn't high on the priority list.

Of course, I focused all my opinion on trails, and even maybe having some lighted trails. The guy who's going to gather all the information and do a proposal for the city said lighting trails is particularly costly because of running electricity out in the middle of nowhere.

I suggested solar lights, but he said that may be more costly than running electricity because the cost of the solar lamps.

He did say that there's an option for lighting part of a trail, which I didn't think of. Lighting the first 1/4 or 1/2 of a trail would be much more cost-effective and would make at least some of it safe to walk. It's could be a legal issue, though. If they encourage people to walk at night (by lighting a trail) they could be liable for problems. AB

Anonymous said...

Hi Bert…I know we are in the process of updating our Parks Master Plan and trails are a part…I can tell you that my recommendation to Council for the last several months has been to get a sidewalk system in place City-wide…this is, in my humble opinion, a higher priority that a trail system but not necessarily mutually exclusive.

The last word I heard was that Dr Murphy was focusing on making Lee College an even better 2 year school and not a word about seeking four year status…I will also ask him his thoughts.

As for the other issues of the bridges and th4 Bark Park, I will ask Scott Johnson to weigh in and give us all an update.

Thanks as always for pushing us to make Baytown better!

Garry Brumback

Anonymous said...

We are finalizing a consultant contract to replace 2 of the bridges over Cary Bayou. The third wooded bridge is Harris County Flood Control’s and we will not touch that one. We plan to apply for a park grant for the new 56 acre tract in January that may include a new connecting trail and bridge on the back side of the park.

We have no plans to light the dog park.

Scott Johnson

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