With the groundbreaking of the CV Link not scheduled until about January of 2016 why has this Friends group formed so early?
With the long range planning and vision that went in to the design of the Link as well as the proactive approach of obtaining most of the construction funding well in advance we felt that the more time we had to incorporate creative ideas in to the design, upkeep, and aesthetics the better chance we have at creating a truly world renown destination. Members of a Friends group can offer both input as well as a feeling of ownership at the critical development stages of any valuable community resource.
Where is the money coming from to build the CV Link?
The bulk of the funds are Federal and State grants specifically set aside for transportation projects like this and cannot be used for other projects. Some is mitigation money from the Sentinel Peaker Plant north of the freeway and some funds are coming from the Desert Healthcare District that recognizes the health benefits of this trail.
How do the Sentinel Peaker Plant funds for The Link offset the carbon footprint of the plant?
The more trips people take on the trail, the fewer polluting cars on the roads. There are many studies of improved air quality when fewer vehicles are driven.
Are those trips a legitimate case for making the claim of improved air quality?
As demonstrated in other locations where urban trails exist, folks will use the trail to run errands and commute to work. And yes, there will be many using the trail for social pleasure, like meeting friends for coffee or having lunch, but those are still “legitimate” trips in that they are not driving a car to meet friends. Tourists visiting the area will find it useful to see other parts of the Coachella Valley without driving a car. In addition, some will be using the trail for exercise only which is another form of “legitimate” trail use.
The conceptual drawings I have seen look too expensive and wasteful.
You have a point. Keep in mind that those drawing are “conceptual” only, representing what might be feasible. At this point, nothing is etched in stone. The master plan is still in the works.
People will use the trail more if it looks good and community leaders want it to look nice. Think of cities with nice landscaped medians and sidewalk areas. The only thing really necessary is a roadbed, be it paved or not. But our local citizens appreciate and almost demand a pleasant looking roadway to drive on. Not necessary, but it increases community value. Friends of CV Link hopes to play a key role in helping to enhance and beautify the Link even more.
Why do you think tourists will use the trail?
Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley is a tourist destination. Folks come here for many different reasons. When on vacation, many want to try something different, get out and see different features of the area, and get some exercise. All of the resorts and many of the hotels provide bikes for their guests. There are several bike rental companies in the area and the first question a visitor ask is “where is a safe place to ride?” In addition, there is a very successful bicycle touring company providing half day tours for visitors to the valley. During summer months, many European tourists come to the Palm Springs area for the heat and lower hotel prices. They embrace bicycle travel as a pleasant way to get around.
Several large bike events are in the area: the Tour de Palm Springs; the Tour of Palm Desert; and the Patriot Ride attracting thousands of bicycle riders to the valley. Some are the ‘hard-core’ extreme distance riders, but most are casual riders who enjoy riding a bike. When this trail is built, many will return to enjoy riding along the safe, well designed multiuse path.
For most of the year, it is either too hot or too windy to ride a bike.
In the Coachella Valley, people play golf, hike local trails, and ride bikes year around, but they do it early. Remember, temperatures do not hit their peak until later in the day. With the low humidity and the air movement when riding, early morning bike rides can be quite enjoyable.
The winds do not blow every day and quite often, it could be windy in the northwest part of the valley and no wind in the central or southeast part of the valley. When built out, this trail will traverse the entire length of the valley, so it could be windy in one part and not in another.
Because of the large senior population in the area, do you really think seniors will use the trail?
Many seniors in the valley recognize the health benefits of exercise. Younger people already embrace the concept of a healthy lifestyle. As that generation approaches retirement age and consider relocating to the Coachella Valley, this multiuse trail will be a big draw for them. Community leaders with a long-term vision recognize that building this trail today will benefit citizens of tomorrow.
I think the mix of bicycles and electric vehicles is a bad idea. How can that be safe?
These are low-speed electric vehicles traveling at speeds close to an average bicycle rider’s speed. Both users will be on the trail knowing that it is a shared path with pavement markings and signage. Trail etiquette and common courtesy will prevail. Safety ultimately depends on the driver of any vehicle, be it electric cart or bike.
I am opposed to this trail because many people like myself don’t own a golf cart or a bicycle.
Many people don’t own dogs, but they realize that dog parks are a good thing. Many people don’t have children, but they realize that parks and schools are good for the community. Many people never go to the library, but they realize that libraries are good for society. The community leaders of the Coachella Valley have spent countless hours evaluating the many benefits that the CV Link will provide to the citizens as a whole.
Why don’t people just ride on sidewalks and stay off our streets?
Many car drivers do not know that it is legal to ride bicycles on roadways. Some drivers want to “teach them a lesson” by inappropriately passing very close to a bike rider. Distracted drivers from cell phone use and other causes are becoming more prevalent. Sidewalk riding presents many unexpected hazards to the casual rider: driveways; intersections; pedestrians; obstacles; and slick pavement from irrigation overspray. The CV Link will provide a safer environment for bicycle riders. Several bicycle riders have been killed by motor vehicles in the Coachella Valley just in the past 4 years. Those motorists who think bikes do not belong on streets will benefit by not having as many cyclists on roadways.
My backyard backs up to the levee. This trail will make my property less safe.
Your home is less safe now because transients currently traverse the levee. A paved path being used by active citizens, plus regular security patrols will help in keeping crime down along the right- a-way.