From the Edmond Sun
EDMOND — A proposed 18-20 mile Edmond trail to wrap around Arcadia Lake was discussed at the City Council Monday evening.
Mercy Health Chief Operating Officer David Tew explained the goals of the Arcadia Lake Coalition, a joint public/private nonprofit partnership to enhance the Edmond Trails project.
“Our goal was to establish a multi-use paved bike and jogging trail around Arcadia Lake by 2014,” Tew said.
The Edmond City Council approved $200,000 of park tax funds Monday evening for the purpose of preliminary engineering services for part of a trail to extend around Arcadia Lake. The vote was 5-0.
“We understand that the route itself presents challenges to current property owners,” said Charles Lamb, mayor.
Southlake resident John Fitch cautioned that the trash associated with the trail would negatively impact the ecological system of the lake. He also pointed out that the trail would not be open during bow hunting season from Oct. 1 to Jan. 15.
“The fear of being shot by an arrow is not going to keep them off that trail,” he said.
Fitch also said the trail would jeopardize the safety and security of the boys at Boys Ranch Town. Bikers and runners will interfere with the safety of an equestrian trail, he added.
“The homeowners — having a trail that will give strangers easy access to our neighborhoods is a threat to our safety,” he said.
Tew said coalition members have been working closely with nearby homeowners associations that would be impacted by the trails. Changes have been made to accommodate the neighbors’ concerns, Tew said. The needs of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation are also tailored into the plan, Tew said.
Edmond’s master plan calls for Edmond Trails to extend from Mitch Park to Arcadia Lake. So far only segments of the trails have been completed. Mitch Park trails will need to link to a trail at the Covell Underpass, which extends to Danforth.
The city already has spent $3.7 million on the trail system since voters approved the 2000 Capital Improvement Sales Tax, according to city records. The council has already approved funding to build a multi-use trail to go under Interstate 35 to connect at Spring Creek Park at Arcadia Lake.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservatory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Edmond Biking Committee and Jim Tapp of Tapp Development have been key in their supporting roles, Tew said.
More recent plans call for two separate 10-foot paths on the northwest part of the lake. A 12- to 14-foot trail would be used for bridge crossings at the southern and eastern portions of the lake. The idea is for the City of Edmond to fund the engineering design costs while private investment will pay for constructing the lake trail.
A community connections meeting will be presented on Sept. 27, Tew said. However, a place and time was not announced but will be published in future reports.
TO LEARN MORE about Arcadia Trails, visit arcadialaketrail.com.