This article (“Centennial Trail link plan draws local pushback,” Jan. 27) ignores the REAL GAP in the Spokane Centennial Trail, which extends about one linear mile between the intersection of Boone Street and Summit Boulevard and the west end of T.J. Meenach Bridge.
The real gap divides the trail into north and south sections. We now cross that gap using (what should be) a temporary, two-mile connection on busy city streets via Summit Blvd./Mission Ave./West Point Road/”Doomsday” Pettit/ TJ Meenach Bridge. That “detour” is noisy, unpleasant, unsafe, and therefore very underused. The steep slope of “Doomsday Hill” and the narrow bridge will never comply with ADA requirements for disabled users. The creators of the Spokane River Centennial Trail did not want this. It is NOT what a majority of local residents want.
The Summit section of the (hopefully temporary) route is the most pleasant and most used by cyclists and pedestrians. It is LEAST in need of any construction project.
The city-planned construction on Summit would be destructive to this quiet, historical boulevard, and would do nothing to close the real gap, nothing to improve safety for users, nothing to increase the number of users, nothing to increase access for the handicapped, and nothing to connect the north and south parts of the trail.
A much better, one mile long route exists and was being considered until recently. It is all on undeveloped land owned by the city. It has a gentle slope to the river, would require building a pedestrian bridge, and then goes through park-like, flat terrain to join the completed north section of the trail.
Randall S. Riggs