Supporters and opponents talk about forthcoming 144 miles of Rock Island Trail |

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

The Rock Island Trail would stretch 144 miles across Missouri from Windsor to Beaufort, connecting with the Katy Trail in Windsor. According to the Missouri Farm Bureau, the trail would affect nearly 700 landowners.

The Missouri Central Railroad, an Ameren subsidiary, owns the corridor and offered to give the former rail line to the state in 2014.

Advocates for the Rock Island Trail point to the economic impact of the Katy Trail. According to the 2012 Katy Trail Economic Impact Report, the state park attracts nearly 400,000 visitors per year, and the total economic impact is nearly $18.5 million.

Greg Harris and other members of Missouri Rock Island Trail Inc. hope the project could have a similar impact.

“We wanted to take an eyesore running through town and turn it into something meaningful,” Harris said.

MoBikeFed comment: Whenever we talk about supporters and opponents of the Rock Island Trail, it is important to note that supporters overwhelmingly outnumber opponents.

In public comment periods Missouri State Parks has run for the Rock Island Trail--which have been heavily publicized among trail opponents--the comments run 98% in favor of the trail.

You can see comments from the most recent comment period here:

With that in mind, the needs of neighboring landowners should be well taken into consideration when developing the corridor and the trail. Good neighbors make a good experience for everyone. Fortunately, Missouri State Parks has a long history of dealing with neighbors of the Katy Trail with many valuable lessons learned.

We definitely need to keep those lessons in mind and apply them when developing the next 144 miles of the Rock Island Trail.

More about Missouri's next cross-state trail, the Rock Island Trail, here: