It was an interesting question from one of our newer members who has brought a fresh insight and perspective.
There has been discussion about limiting the number of benches. The two miles between Raider Drive and Willow is pretty well saturated. When we get inquiries about new benches, they are usually steered north toward Mohawk Drive where we actually have bench pads already poured in anticipation of bench orders.
We get inquiries about trees on the Greenway, but in my opinion we will never reach a saturation point there. You can never have too many trees!
The Raider Drive park area might be a good case study. Are we overbuilding there? Recent additions include a restroom adjacent to the playground and a Born Learning trail leading up to it. Under construction is a pavilion where parties, community events and family reunions will be staged in the near future.
The Cleveland Parks and Recreation Department is already getting inquiries about reserving the pavilion into August. As part of the pavilion construction, electricity is now available for future events at the park. And speaking of future events, those who are looking to the future are calling for the addition of an outdoor stage. Will that push the area over the top?
Another addition is restrooms. Since I have been associated with the Greenway, restroom facilities have traditionally been the most requested improvement. But how far should these be spaced apart? We already have three restrooms where just a few years ago we had none. Do we continue to plan for more?
One troubling “recommendation” was asked of me a few months ago. It was to not deviate from the original north-south direction of the current Greenway. This came in direct response to the planned Ocoee Greenway Connector which will begin construction later this year. The reasoning was that it would distract from the ultimate goal of taking the Greenway from Inman to the Hiwassee River. If adding this spur, which will allow thousands more residents direct access, is “too much” improvement, then we need to broaden our focus.
The bottom line of the question of “Is it too much?” should be “Do we really need it on the Greenway?” This is a question that will never be fully answered, especially as we continue to lengthen the Greenway. Have we received requests for additions to the Greenway we have turned down? Yes, there have been a few. This is a primary reason the Greenway board was established.
If you have an idea for a project or improvement on the Greenway, feel free to submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. While there is no guarantee your idea will be adopted, I can promise it will be reviewed with the best intentions.
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