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City to reroute hike-and-bike trail

By DAVID TEWES
Sept. 21, 2010 at 4:21 a.m.

Hike-and-Bike trail crossing

Expected CostIt will cost taxpayers $80,000 to $90,000 to reroute the Lone Tree hike-and-bike trail to the intersection of John Stockbauer Drive and Ben Jordan Street.

Victoria still plans to reroute the Lone Tree hike-and-bike trail near the East High School, although one elected official thinks the action won't change anything.

"I think this is going to be a solution, but a failed solution," Council Member Tom Halepaska said. "The kids are going to take a shortcut right through the grass and it won't change anything."

The city questioned whether it should do anything about the trail where it crosses John Stockbauer Drive after a youth and a vehicle collided.

The council voted earlier this year to reroute the trail to the intersection of John Stockbauer and Ben Jordan Street, where there is a signal light. Halepaska was the only one opposed.

Police Chief Bruce Ure has looked at other options and presented a report to the city council.

He said it's no longer illegal to cross at mid-block and it's not illegal for pedestrians to ignore the barricades put up on the trail at John Stockbauer.

He also said he didn't think extending the school zone from De Leon Elementary School to the trail crossing would help. He said the area is congested during school hours and speeding is not a problem.

Public Works Director Lynn Short said the city will remove the markings, signs and lights at the crosswalk and construction to reroute the trail will begin in a couple of weeks.

"It's not going to be a crossing," he said. "We can't stop them from doing it, but we're not going to have a designated crosswalk there encouraging them to do so."

City Engineer Ken Gill said it will cost taxpayers $80,000 to $90,000 to reroute the trail. He estimated it will take Ranger Constructions of Galena Park four to six weeks to complete the work.

Halepaska said he thinks the city is spending money on the trail just because people are overreacting to a single incident. "Perhaps we really don't have a problem."

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