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Reader's View: Make Lakewalk link, don’t give up easement

A Duluth City Council-appointed task force has presented a recommendation for the completion of modified Lakewalk trails across a gap between 20th and 26th avenues east ("Solution offered for contentious Lakewalk link," Jan. 26). People on cycles...

A Duluth City Council-appointed task force has presented a recommendation for the completion of modified Lakewalk trails across a gap between 20th and 26th avenues east (“Solution offered for contentious Lakewalk link,” Jan. 26).  People on cycles and other wheeled things would use a trail along Water Street. Pedestrians and mobility-challenged persons would use a trail along the shore. The City Council may soon consider and vote upon a resolution to move that recommendation forward to administration.
There is one small but significant provision that must be deleted from the recommendation, however. It provides that the permanent public easement across the Beacon Pointe properties be relinquished to the property owners if the recommended trail is thought to be “not feasible.” What would be the public purpose in doing so? What does “not feasible” mean?  By whom would it be deemed “not feasible?” And for what reason and by what date? For numerous reasons and through plenty of years, the completion of our expected Lakewalk has been deemed “not feasible.” Fortunately, we still have the right to place a trail there if and when we decide to do it.
Lakewalk is and always has been doable. It will be feasible when the public, city administration and City Council commit to make it so. The task force has suggested a way. The City Council can now retain the current easement and then advance the task force recommendation.
I urge the administration to receive that recommendation and to joyfully, confidently and proudly engage its executive opportunity so that these trails are “feasible” and completed.
I urge citizens to encourage and support the administration as we continue to need and desire that which we have expected and for which we have already greatly invested.
Together, let’s get this thing done!
Alison Clarke  
Duluth

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