Nebraska’s MoPac Trail, which will connect the cities of Lincoln and Omaha, has run into problems securing the right-of-way on a crucial 10-mile section of trail. Local landowners complain of losing land to the trail, and also say they’re afraid of bicyclists:
Since her husband died, Michelle Platt worries more about strangers passing by her acreage. So a proposed bike trail running just 100 feet from her front door has her and grandpa nervous.
“Too close and you never know who is going to come off of the trail and come up here when you have a 5-year-old and a single woman out here by ourselves, it’s just not safe.”
It’s clear many of the 22 landowners don’t want to be forced to sell a strip of their land for a bike trail. “It is going to be expensive and we just don’t feel that this far from the city it’s going to get that much use,” says Jim Panska.
Clearly, they haven’t done their homework on potential usage. Check out the Katy Trail in Missouri. Check out the Cowboy Trail and the Steamboat Trace in Nebraska. Check out the Wabash Trace in Iowa.
And the safety concern makes very little sense either. Their land is next to public roads, which carry cars and trucks by their property night and day. Criminals are far more likely to transport themselves by a fast motor vehicle than they are on foot or by bike.
If you’re concerned about the problems with the MoPac trail, please consider signing the Mopac Trail Extension petition.