Advocacy victory: Key STL-area trail connection, Cliff Cave Park from Telegraph Rd to be built as originally planned | The Call

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The proposed trail connection to Cliff Cave County Park from Telegraph and Erb roads will be built as originally planned, Great Rivers Greenway announced last week.

The pedestrian-only entrance to the park from Telegraph Road was originally proposed as part of the regional trail district’s $5 million, 2-mile Cliff Cave trail extension, which is currently around the halfway point of construction and set to be finished by the end of the year.

At the urging of 6th District County Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, however, the county conducted a safety study of the Telegraph entrance, where Trakas suggested building a pedestrian bridge crossing Telegraph to the trail. Trakas had been blocking the trail, but the compromise between him and County Executive Steve Stenger moved the trail forward without going through the council.

As part of a compromise brokered by county officials to try to get Trakas to advance legislation allowing trail construction to proceed, the county agreed to perform the safety study.

After reviewing the results of the traffic study, which came back Aug. 1, however, Great Rivers Greenway, or GRG, is moving forward with its original plan.

“Following the review of a safety analysis, project partners are moving forward with a planned neighborhood connection into the park at Telegraph and Erb roads,” GRG Community Program Manager Elizabeth Simons said in a project update. “This connection will allow people to walk, jog, push a stroller, ride a bike or use a wheelchair to access the park without driving a car.”

MoBikeFed comment: Early this year MoBikeFed and our members worked together with Trailnet and other local advocates to counter opposition to this important trail connection--which will eventually be part of a continuous Mississippi River Greenway in the St. Louis area.

The trail connection to Telegraph Road is a very important piece of the trail, allowing convenient access to the park and the trail from many nearby neighborhoods.

Thanks goes to everyone who took the time to contact St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas to voice your support for the trail connection, and to Trailnet and all local citizens and advocates who worked hard to ensure that the County Council and Great Rivers Greenway District and St. Louis County Parks, which are building the trail, knew that there was strong public support for the trail.

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