Keith Carlson Roseville MN 55113 United States 10/1/15 – I am 63 years old and generally a road biker and value both paved trails like the Gateway and crushed limestone like the SWLRT and Luce line for that in addition to ex urban highways. But I bike (as well as hike) the Minnesota River bottoms from Mendota to the Lawrence Unit several times a year on a hybrid bike and once on my recumbent. The two experiences are both enjoyable but locating the two together is incompatible. The twist and turns of the current single track, it’s occasional log jumps and, yes, the slogging thru the impassable silt for my bike’s skinny tires from Cedar Avenue to 169 cannot be mimicked by a paved trail. The challenge plus the seclusion so close and accessible to the metro area cannot be replaced if this jewel is lost. Half the current users – walkers and bikers – I meet are late middle age and seniors so access for this segment of the population is not an issue, if they are only willing to except the challenge.
Greg Lessard Waldorf MN 56091 United States 9/5/15 – I’m signing this because I feel that a proper balance must be struck between access and natural beauty. The river bottoms should remain unpaved. The point of progress and access isn’t the pursuit of paving the world but to allow access to for urban natural environment. Free of paved artificial surfaces and abundant in natural terrain. Places of unpaved beauty are disappearing fast in urban areas and this is one more example of misplaced infrastructure enhancements. Leave the toxic tar away from our natural resources and keep the ancient experience of being in nature, on nature alive in a world surrounded by human industrial impact. I ride these trails and only do so because they are one of the last unpaved trail systems in the south metro. The heavily human influenced environments of Mtb trail systems like lebennon and Murphy are not the same as the river bottoms.
Ben Mueller Minneapolis MN 55431 United States 8/7/15 – Paving a trail through one of the only large tracts of this kind of terrain left in the metro area is a terrible idea. Once it is paved it will never ever be the same! Not to mention the untold cost of maintaining a paved eyesore of a trail in an active flood plain. The whole idea is just bad from so many different angles that I cannot believe that it has gotten this far. Save this area how it is and let people bike on the miles and miles of paved trail already available in the area.
Douglas McMillan Minneapolis MN 55429 United States 6/11/15 – I don’t understand why a paved trail is even being considered along the proposed route!?! I have been using this trail for decades and I speak from experience that a paved trail will suffer from the forces of mother nature. Every year the natural trail changes due to flooding and storms. The trail will become blocked by sand that the river moves during flooding, trees fall, hillside erode and then slide. I can’t imagine the cost to pave a trail with the excavation, subgrade and asphalt not to mention the cost to maintain this each year as sections of the trail are damaged due to flooding and storms! And what about the damage that will occur with the construction?
Once again, I have to ask why is there a need for a paved trail in this section of the river bottoms? Many thanks, Doug McMillan.
Melissa Janssen Bloomington MN 55420 United States 11/17/14 – Along with family and friends have been going down to the river bottoms (winter, spring, summer, & fall) since we moved to Bloomington in 1991. I am a hiker, runner, birder, biker (mountain & road bike), dog walker/runner, cross country skier, photographer, and an outdoor enthusiast. The river bottom is a true gem! Sometimes we forget what the N in DNR stands for: NATURAL. The river bottoms are one of the few places you can go without the intrusion of asphalt. There is a reason that horses don’t run on paved surfaces; it’s bad for the legs and joints. Besides the cost of maintaining a paved surface in a flood plain, is the City of Bloomington prepared to pay for the liabilities that may occur from a multi-use trail (roller bladders, skate boarders, road & mountain bikes, dog walkers/runners, baby strollers, roller XC skies, walkers, hikers, photographers, and birders? Will the City of Bloomington have to provide and pay for security?
Who will pay for the constant clean up of spray paint graffiti (just look at the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, Cedar Bridge, HWY 77 Bridge)? If multi use trials are added, will they disturb the Indian Mounds, and intrude on the birders? Did you know that there are no bikes allowed on the trail below Martin Luther Manor to the Cedar Bridge parking lot? I suspect it is in place to allow the birders and photographers the necessary privacy and solitude in order to view and photograph birds and other wildlife. If you want to make the river bottoms like Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, asphalt it! If you want to preserve a true gem, do not add paved surfaces! I have met many wonderful people (from all walks of life) over the years down at the river. For the most part, everyone is very respectful and tolerant of each other. There are always a few that ruin it for everyone. Is there room for improvement on the trails? Yes, but not with asphalt!
Samantha Collins Bloomington MN 55420 United States 10/31/14 – Those tax payer dollars can go somewhere that’s actually needed!
Reed Smidt Mendota Heights MN 55118 United States 10/31/14 – I want the Minnesota River Valley preserved as it is today. There is no need to put unnatural materials in a flood plain and spending millions of dollars to do so.
Isaac Niebeling Champlin MN 55316 United States 10/31/14 – I lived in Bloomington for many years, and began my mountain biking on the River Bottoms. I’ve taken my wife — a biking scaredy-cat — there, because she feels like it’s a safe place to start. The cost to build a paved trail would be high; the cost to maintain it would be ludicrous. The other paved surfaces in that same area have degraded to the point that no one even tries to maintain them anymore.
Rob Stepaniak Minneapolis MN 55417 United States 10/31/14 – This is one of the few almost natural areas in the metro. Paving a trail will disrupt this and be a huge liability on the taxpayers due to the constant flooding. It is a poor use of money.
Eric Lemke Shoreview MN 55126 United States 10/31/14 – I believe the Minnesota river bottoms should be preserved I’m their natural state. I want to take my kids to a place that has been untouched by development, even if it is something as simple as a paved trail.
Robert Henderson Minneapolis MN 55418 United States 10/31/14 – I am a trail runner and there is not enough quality trails like this around. We need to protect our natural environment.
Jared VanderHook Minneapolis MN 55413 United States 10/31/14 – As an avid trail runner I love the river bottom trails for the dirt trails and how remote they feel. Replace that with paved trails and it loses its character and appeal! There’s already an abundance of paved trail options around the Twin Cities. Please leave this, one of the few dirt trails, as it is in its natural state.
Pete Kennedy Lakeville MN 55044 United States 10/31/14 – I love riding these trails as they are today. There are tons of other paved trails in the metro area. As is stated in the petition, this area floods every Spring so any form of paved trails will require extensive and expensive work. Please do NOT pave these trails!
Andrea Horner Savage MN 55378 United States 10/31/14 – We love to ride these mountain bike trails with our family and with the high school mountain bike team. The River Bottoms trails are a wonderful place to ride when most other trails are closed, because this particular trail holds up to most weather situations.
Ren Stinson North Liberty IA 52317 United States 10/31/14 – I would like to see the natural state of the river bottoms preserved. It is already a wonderful recreation area and I believe spending money to pave it is unnecessary and can damage much of the appeal of the area. We are so lucky to have an area like this in our cities, but seemingly a natural refuge from things of the city (e.g., pavement, buildings, etc.).
Cori Pepelnjak St. Louis Park MN 55416 United States 10/31/14 – I use the river bottoms on a weekly basis. It is a a refuge from a busy urban life. I feel like I am hundreds of miles away from where I actually am. This is such an incredible and unique part of our cities–it helps define us. I bring out of town guests here and they are blown away and envious. Please,please keep it natural.
Chris Schmitz Minneapolis MN 55425 United States 10/31/14 – Building in a floodplain is a waste of money. Having what will end up being a washed out, busted up trail won’t enhance the experience for anyone.
Tim O’Regan Bloomington MN 55420 United States 10/31/14 – There are tons of paved paths in the cities. Let’s keep this one rustic and unpaved for those of us who prefer running on trails instead of hard, knee-destroying concrete.
Tom Segar Minnetonka MN 55345 United States 10/31/14 – The MN River Bottoms is an amazing ecological asset for the Twin Cities area – a natural landscape created and frequently modified by the river. Not only will a paved trail (and the major construction required to put in the trail) ruin that landscape, the flooding will periodically damage or destroy the trail, an incredible waste of taxpayer money. Let’s invest in the subtle improvements required to keep the existing natural trail open for all who wish to spend time away from the pavement.
Tom McBeain Burnsville MN 55306 United States 10/31/14 – The River Bottoms as is, is the most unique place to mountain bike. It gives the rider a true adventure ride not just making laps. There is no other place like it in the twin cities
Arianna Caauwe Minneapolis MN 55420 United States 10/31/14 – I’ve lived here almost all of my life and the River Bottoms have been one of my only near by escapes from the life in the city. I have always loved walking and exploring down there and running through the trails over rocks and roots, biking with my friends and just enjoying a little piece of barely touched woods right out my back door. I love the river bottoms for what they are, I believe paving them would take away and ruin what is already beautiful and perfect. It doesn’t need pavement, it needs to continue to be the outlet for natural beauty that I and anyone I’ve ever known loves and enjoys. Don’t take that away from us. Don’t ruin my childhood, or my children’s future experiences with my beloved river bottoms.
Robert Williams MINNEAPOLIS MN 55405 United States 10/31/14 – My family and I hike and ride bikes in this area on a daily basis. We also spend money in Bloomington every time we go. We will not be spending time or money down there if you decide to pave what is currently a beautiful natural area.
Shawn Turner Rosemount MN 55068 United States 10/31/14 – We are constantly told to ride/hike responsibly, and to take out what we bring in, or leave no trace. Installing a trail that is made from petroleum-based products would be irresponsible, and hypocritical, because the chemicals will eventually leach into the soil, and eventually the river.
Doug Janni New Ulm MN 56073 United States 10/31/14 – Because I drive up an hour and a half to ride these trails in the winter. I usually stay the weekend and that means spending money. I won’t if they are paved.
Jeff Hilligoss Eden Prairie MN 55347 United States 10/31/14 – I, along with countless others, have enjoyed the natural beauty and changing nature of this trail system for over 20 years. By it’s nature, it evolves with the changing environment of the river valley.
Introducing a paved trail system will add no value, and worse, will prove to be a costly, very difficult to maintain gamble with Mother Nature, funded with tax payer dollars; a tremendous and reckless misappropriation of valuable resources.
Todd Thorsgaard St. Paul MN 5517 United States 10/31/14 – I grew up in east Bloomington and have been riding and hiking the trails for over 50 years! Love the natural surface trails in a real woods so close to the metropolitan area. It is important to preserve a natural option among all the paved outlets that already exist across the 7 county area!
Chris Maness Rosemount MN 55068 United States 10/10/15 – There has already been ENOUGH damage done to the habitat and naturally preserved area. The trails are beautiful and nature sustaining. Some areas may need to be raised with area familiar means, drainage improved, but not with products that break down and release harmful chemicals into the ground and water, harming in time the waterfowl that nest and breed there, rare plants and fish. I have sat and prayed on many of the down trees and even sat and watched a beaver swim around working 30 ft away.
Dana Westbrock Saint Paul MN 55117 United States 10/6/15 – This would be a huge waist of money and will destroy a beautiful area. The DNR is going to move the campground at Whitewater State Park near Rochester…..because it is in a flood plain. Why would we try to pave another flood plain?
Karen Smidt Saint Paul MN 55118 United States 5/5/15 – I’m signing because I believe the MN Valley Trail should remain natural – it makes the most sense from both an environmental and economic standpoint. The state is already struggling with funds to maintain existing paved trails. Why are we paving this one when the area floods almost every year, which will cause damage to the trail, which will damage the Refuge and cost all of us more money to maintain?