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Reader's view: Don’t let politics stop eastern cross-city trail

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opinion Duluth, 55802
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

Such the contrast.

In western Duluth the city secures federal and local funding and contracts for the design of a cross-city trail and then tells neighbors it will be adjacent to their homes; it will be adjacent to private homes because that is the only site available for it (“Residents oppose trail’s course through West Duluth,” April 10).

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In eastern Duluth developers and the city agree to a cross-city trail because doing so is a requirement for development. The city identifies the funding source. The city contracts for design options. The developers and city administrators know, because of our strong-mayor form of governance, the administration can block it through administrative actions and inactions. The politically influential adjacent property owners and the politically sensitive administration and council have so far prevailed to block the cross-city trail from going adjacent to the properties along the shore — which is the only site that can support it.

It is not possible to complete the cross-city trail (implicitly federal and state “standard” to safely and otherwise provide for mobility-challenged persons and persons on wheels) inland northeast of 23rd Avenue East. The city administration and council do not publicly recognize and seem, so-far, to be politically bound to disregard that.

The cross-city trail completed along the shore would qualify for 80 percent federal funding; anything less does not.

It must go along the shore. It can go along the shore. Because of previous administration actions and inactions the total cost would be greater now than 11 years ago, but with 80 percent federal assistance it might cost Duluth even less.

Duluthians, just get it done!

Alison Clarke

Duluth

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