Excerpts from the published Environmental Assessment/Initial Study on the project:
"In 2008, the City received funding from the State of California Resources Agency under the Proposition 50 California Rivers Parkway Grant Program to extend the BikeTrail and complete an ADA compliant trail loop along the shoreline of Lake Natoma in the vicinity of the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge."
I'm no expert on the matter, but I think they have to use the money for its intended purpose. I don't think they can legally take that money redirect it to another project. So, while Negro Bar may not be perfect (I've never noticed anything bad about it), that is another subject/project to tackle.
"The original project proposal included the extensive development of a boating dock and lighting to support the development of a promenade type trail.
On November 8, 2011, after a thorough analysis of the alternatives including an assessment of potential environmental constraints and review of public input, the Folsom City Council identified a significantly scaled back plan that eliminated the promenade features and reduced the boat ramp feature to the development of an accessible path to the water that would double as a water landing for canoes and kayaks on Lake Natoma, as the preferred project design.
Currently, there is no ADA access to the Lake Natoma Waterfront from the Folsom Historic District. While the Folsom Historic District provides a variety of entertainment options for the public, including ADA accessible facilities, pedestrian access to the Lake Natoma Waterfront is limited to unpaved trails with steep slopes originating from the East Lake Natoma Bike Trail. This results in non-ADA compliant pedestrian access and co-mingling between bicyclists and pedestrians. The purpose of the Proposed Project is to meet the following objectives:
Provide a safe pedestrian recreational trail system that incorporates ADA Standards for Accessible Design consistent with 28 CFR Part 36 while maintaining/enhancing connectivity between the Lake Natoma waterfront and the Folsom Historic District for pedestrians.Improve environmental conditions of the Lake Natoma waterfront through removal of invasive species, planting of native plant/tree species, and stabilization of banks along the existing trail.'
I think it is a great idea, and long overdue. It seems that every proposal for development, pavement or improvement any kind is opposed, often by people enjoying the previously completed development and improvements, and it's usually over the fears of crime and change, occasionally with environmental issues thrown in.
There's opposition to housing developments (by people who actually live in housing developments), opposition to new trails and access (often by people who use the existing trails).
I've mentioned before that when I was at a presentation on Folsom's history, one old-timer said that Folsomite's have always feared change, and outsiders. He said that back in the 40's, the residents were upset about the proposed new Folsom Dam, not just because the dam itself, but because they feared the construction workers would cause trouble.
Do you remember the uproar over the opening of the tattoo parlor and the kind of people it would attract and the trouble they would cause? Has there been any trouble from them all these years later?
How about the community mobilization against the opening of a lingerie shop which also featured 'marital aids' on Sutter Street? I recall one writer who said it would attract child molesters. - No molesters were ever reported or caught buying vibrators or pasties there, to my knowledge.
There were so many posts about how crime would soar in Folsom once light rail was built. One wrote that there were gangs just waiting for it to be completed so they could come and 'wreak havoc'. Another feared that burglars would use it haul away their loot. We know that bad guys can take light rail as easily as good guys can, and we know that shoplifters have come in on light rail and stolen from the outlets, and I have seen some rather worn out looking guys on Sutter every now and then, but overall, light rail has been a blessing rather than a curse, taking cars off the roads, enabling good people to get around more efficiently, as intended.
Remember the protests about removing they dying trees, broken sidewalks, and rotting shed roofs on Sutter? I was there the night two women fell into the streets, smashing their heads on the pavement in front of the Folsom Hotel because the wood they sat on was rotten, there was no railing and the curb was high. People were frequently tripping and falling over high curbs and uneven pavement. Still, there was opposition to any changes.
They said the plan was to make Sutter look like Disneyland (I'm sure some fee it does).
Now we have people opposed to the waterfront access plan over fears of homeless, drunks and trouble makers.
I love this town, and a lot of the people in it. It is beautiful, clean, safe, has lots of recreational opportunities, and has a growing list of arts and entertainment amenities. It remains a desirable place to live with higher property values than most communities in the region.
I think we can grow and improve the city in a smart way and still maintain our great quality of life.
I guess I should have expected the usual stereotyping of anyone that questions a project or isn't a cheerleader for the city. You're labeled either a malcontent or a NIMBY if you question the size or scope of what the city is doing. One old-timer's remark at a meeting doesn't speak for all of Folsom so I'm not sure why you put so much weight on that.
Yes, Folsom is a very desirable place to live, but I believe that the involvement of residents and their input can be valuable in keeping it that way. I'm not even entirely opposed to the project, but I just saw on the news the river otter exhibit they have in San Francisco at Aquarium of the Bay. We already have canoe access to the area - at least two within the city - and we have great trails that already circle the entirety of Lake Natoma. The otters don't have a choice to move elsewhere. Let's leave what little is left of their habitat.
Maybe they can't just take the money from one project and move it elsewhere. I'm admittedly not an expert in that area. It is a joint project with the state so I'm just not sure why that wasn't looked at in the first place instead of building new rather than maintaining or improving what already exists. This trail won't even link the truss bridge, which would have made more sense.