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New Trail Is Safer Route To Lincoln Park Middle School

(Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Students will find it easier to walk to Lincoln Park Middle School, thanks to a new trail connection that they and community volunteers will be building on Saturday, November 17th from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. The gravel footpath will connect the neighborhood just east of the school to the existing paved walkway that the ISD 709 school district constructed.

“We were happy the district supported the option of walking to school by providing a paved trail between the new school and the adjoining neighborhood,” states James Gittemeier, Senior Planner with the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council (MIC). “This project will fill in an important missing link for kids to get to that walkway.”

The new path will connect existing sidewalks along a half-block segment of Devonshire Street to create an alternative to the Atlantic Avenue route. The Devonshire pathway will provide a connection to the larger eastern portion of the neighborhood as well as provide a pathway with a much more gradual slope.

“It’s a small, manageable project. It builds on the conversations we’ve had within the neighborhood and will be accomplished with the help of community volunteers of all ages,” Gittemeier noted.

On Friday, November 16th, students from the school will work with Judy Gibbs, Trails Coordinator with the City of Duluth, to get the project underway, which involves clearing brush, building a small retaining wall and moving gravel onto the pathway. She will also coordinate the efforts of community members who have volunteered to complete the project on Saturday.

“The City is pleased to be a partner in creating this pathway,” explains Gibbs. “It’s a great fit for our goal of developing an integrated trail and bikeway network while encouraging active lifestyles for our kids.”

Gittemeier also plans to connect with the Lincoln Park Boys and Girls Club to develop an education campaign to publicize the location of the trail and to encourage walking to school.

The MIC, a transportation planning organization for Duluth and Superior, along with the Healthy Duluth Area Coalition and St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), are partnering on the “Safe Routes to School” initiative in Duluth, which aims to ensure that students have safe pedestrian walkways and bike pathways to their schools.

This trail connection is one recommendation from the MIC’s Lincoln Park Pedestrian Corridor Plan, a study of pedestrian connectivity between the key activity centers including the Clyde Iron Complex, Cross City Trailhead, Harrison Community Center and the Lincoln Park Middle School. The three organizations are also working with the At Home in Duluth Collaborative which includes 1 Roof Community Housing, Duluth LISC, and the City of Duluth’s Community Development Office.

Volunteers are still being sought for this all ages, no experience necessary event. Individuals, families and community groups are encouraged to participate. Volunteers are asked to dress for the weather. All equipment will be provided. Youth under 18 will need guardian permission. Meet up location is at the junction of the 3200 West block of Devonshire and Atlantic Avenue (see map at http://goo.gl/maps/15qIu). Volunteers are asked to please register prior to event at cskafte@duluthmn.gov or 218-730-4334.

Taken from Press Release on city of Duluth Website

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