City Council expresses safety concern about proposed recreation trail

MONONA — Safety concerns were on the mind of the Monona City Council last Monday as it reviewed preliminary specifications for the proposed recreation trail running between Gateway Park and the current Butterfly Trail.

Councilman Dan Havlicek expressed concern about the location of the proposed trail’s crossing of West Spruce Street near its intersection with Highway 18/52 just west of the water tower.

“I just sat out there for 20 minutes watching traffic, I went out there at 5:30, and I wish I could have videotaped some of those cars coming in off the highway, especially from the west, how fast they were coming around that corner,” he said. “I did a U-turn there and went back up and two (vehicles) came right back up behind me. They had to be doing, I’m guessing, 35 miles per hour when they came around that corner.”

“We had reservations about that from the start,” Mayor Lynn Martinson said of the crossing. 

Havlicek suggested that the trail be moved to the east side of the water tower site, though there was concern that the move could be unacceptable to the Iowa Department of Transportation if tight trail switchbacks are needed to meet maximum slope and grade requirements.

The council approved a resolution accepting the preliminary plans with the understanding that changes could still be made to the plan. A public hearing will be held May 21 at the regular city council meeting.

Read more in the Wednesday, May 16, 2018 edition of The Outlook.