Paso Robles has been given the go-ahead to buy land to fill missing trail connections on the southeast side of town — a move many residents have long requested.
On Sept. 21, the city authorized the purchase of approximately 5.4 acres of the Salinas River corridor along South River Road.
In closed session June 1, the City Council authorized negotiations with landowner Bunnell Development Corp. resulting in the $62,000 purchase using park development funds. The land appraised for $69,000 in July 2009, according to city documents.
The parcel will connect the existing River Road and River Parkway trails — which currently leave pedestrians and cyclists at two dead ends.
One dead end is north of an apartment complex across from Navajo Avenue. Another path just north of there, under the 13th Street Bridge, ends south of where 13th Street turns into Creston Road.
The public has long asked the City Council for a more direct way to safely bike or walk downtown from the city’s east side. South River Road has tight turns for vehicles and no sidewalk.
Completion of the new concrete connection “will make travel much safer in this area,” city staff said.
The city will use $1.1 million in federal transportation dollars to build and design it, according to city documents. Its construction and use is slated for 2011.
The City Council on Sept. 21 also authorized a grant application to design and build a trail and restoration project along the Charolais Road corridor on the city’s southeast side. It will connect to the river trail at Larry Moore Park.
If awarded, the $500,000 project could be funded with up to $350,000 in grant money with the remainder from park development funds. Staff will know by January 2011 if the city won.
The corridor is a roughly 2,200-foot-long right-of-way and drainage channel near the Salinas River. The channel’s west end is eroding, causing large amounts of sediment to flow into the river when it rains, according to the city.
Along with the environmental fixes the grant would fund, the city’s blueprint for growth identifies the corridor as a route for an off-street bike path.