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Reader's View: New 'greenway' promises to transform downtown, Canal Park

From the letter: "The greenway is a proposal to cover six more blocks of Interstate 35 through downtown Duluth with adequate soil and deciduous and evergreen trees. It would include walkways to

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This drawing by landscape architect Kent G. Worley shows where six more blocks of Interstate 35 are being proposed to be tunneled through downtown Duluth.
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Finally, we have a graphic for “the greenway,” something to begin to show what, where, and why this concept came alive. The greenway is a proposal to cover six more blocks of Interstate 35 through downtown Duluth with adequate soil and deciduous and evergreen trees. It would include walkways to connect downtown and Canal Park.

Walking between Lake Avenue and Fourth Avenue West is the same distance as walking from downtown to Canal Park. It’s closer than we think. The greenway would finally be a new and pleasant outdoor place for some exercise, especially during long work days.

Other benefits would include clean air thanks to removing and treating I-35 traffic exhaust; continuous photographic options, highlighting our beautiful environment in relation to downtown; and, finally, a real and direct connection with our Lake Superior, the Lakewalk, and more.

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Kent G. Worley

Along the way, historical and educational information could be included, like maps and interpretive signs for views and features of interest. The greenway would provide a new, safe place for Dad and the kids during a shopping day with Mom. On weekends especially, grand picnic spots near the lake would be popular.

The creation of a unique, natural downtown and Canal Park would give Duluth another draw where now is a place to avoid because of foul air, highway sounds, and a negative roadway appearance with lots of unnecessary through and truck traffic.

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Future additions could include high-quality spaces for retail, office, and housing, perfect for the elderly and newbies. That would mean tax-base growth.

According to a Bloomberg News poll, restaurants, bars, and lounges are most important in a business district (71%). But this was followed closely by parks and green spaces (65%), which is the goal of Duluth’s CIHE, or Citizens for the Integration of Highway and Environment.

Kent G. Worley

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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