Feedback about Marion Tallgrass Trail

Please read the following, and then click the link at the bottom to take a survey.

Phase 1 of the Marion Tallgrass Trail was completed in 2010. It included two bridges and about 1/4 mile of pavement.

In Phase 2, to be completed in 2014, we plan to extend the pavement by about 3 miles, remove some old railroad ties and other waste from earlier construction, and perhaps do some landscaping at the start of the trail. This stretch of trail will cross two bridges, pass alongside a lake, and travel through the Big Island Wildlife area. Visitors frequently see bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and other wildlife in this area.

We are asking for your feedback on Phase 3, which would take the paved trail surface about 3 miles west from the end of phase 2 in 2015. We anticipate that this section will go from the area of Hickory Grove Lake Campground to the area of Agosta-Meeker Road, crossing Espyville Road and Schmidt Road.

The trail will be fully handicap accessible, and can be used for hiking, running, bicycling, cross-country skiing, in-line skating, and nature viewing. Horses and motorized vehicles will be prohibited, although electric wheelchairs will be permitted.

Users will be able to connect with Marion’s 10 mile bicycle loop via Holland Road. We’d like in a future phase to find another way to connect into Marion, and we’d also like to eventually connect with the planned C, D, and M trail coming north from Delaware, Ohio.

This phase of the trail does not include permanent restrooms or drinking water. A portable toilet will be available at the trailhead at least seven months a year, and perhaps year-round (Permanent restrooms are not feasible at this time because of budget limitations.)

We will not have hard "bollards" (metal or wood poles to keep cars off of trails) at intersections, because these are hazardous to cyclists. The pictures at right show three choices that have been used at other trails. In the survey we will ask you to tell us which you prefer. The choices are:

A) Flexible bollards that are less likely to injure cyclists, but only last a few years and cost about $500 apiece to replace.

B) Low landscaping that divides the trail at intersections, but can be driven over by an emergency vehicle.

C) Using paint and signs to make it clear that this is a trail, not a road.

On behalf of the Marion County Park District, we appreciate your feedback, and thank you for your time.

Part of what will be Phase 3 of the Tallgrass Trail.


Below: Three choices for intersection design on the Tallgrass Trail.

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