Brookings bike trail set to expand, improve

Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

Brookings is planning on expanding its bike trail. Allyn Frerichs, director of parks and recreation, said that a budget proposal has been made and that it is pending approval by the city council.

The current six mile recreation trail runs past the golf course, past the softball fields, over to Medary Avenue, past the soccer complex and west to Indian Hills. The proposed extension is to go across the interstate, north to the bypass, west to 22nd Ave. and back into town, providing for a more circular route.

Gordon Tolle, political science professor, rides the current six-mile trail five times a week because it “provides a safe way to ride bike,” but when the trail ends, Tolle is forced to find “less traveled roads.”

Frerichs said that the goal of the proposed expansion is “to limit crossings and bike traffic on roadways.”

John Donahue, freshman, is one of the SDSU students who currently uses his bicycle strictly for transportation purposes from one class to the next.

“Biking is not a whole big thing to me,” Donahue said, but he would be willing to make use of the recreation trail if it was closer to campus.

According to Mike Reger, executive vice president of administration, a future connection to the city bike trail is in the SDSU Master Plan. The master plan is a suggestion of what the campus should look like in 50 years, Reger said. This includes how the university would change traffic patterns, both vehicle and pedestrian. Currently the master plan shows possible walking and biking trails moving through McCrory Gardens or the Arboretum.

“There is no definite plan on where the university might connect to city bike paths, but we are having conversations with the city. We think it’s important to tie in with what the city is doing,” Reger said.

The decision as to whether or not the recreation trail will receive its funding should be made sometime late fall.