The trail proposal for Little River crossing took a lot of hard work and I certainly appreciate the effort ("Crossing Little River," July 2). I participated in some of the scoping and submitted comments during the public process. Generally I like to support trail projects for a lot of reasons but this particular one seems to fall far below a priority threshold and would cost a lot of money while benefiting relatively few. The other issue with this proposal is encroaching onto a coastal dune and surrounding a dune hollow wetland with a paved bike lane. Paving a dune is simply not necessary, particularly when bicycles can currently travel along the extra wide exit ramp at Crannell. Horses would not likely use the proposed bridge as they can use the existing trail along the river and cross if necessary. Hikers can already easily cross the bridge but the frequency is likely fairly rare as hiking in the dunes is far more scenic.
On the north side of the river where the recent acquisition has been made would make a nice view. However, there are geological challenges that add considerable costs. The Annie Mary Trail would create a corridor for all users between Arcata and the sunny villa of Blue Lake, as well as connect to riverside county parks. We would likely get far more bang for the buck and provide service for a larger range of users. While "more trails" may be a popular mantra, we also need to make sure we are taking care of the ones we have. Why build one that no one seems to want to take care of? We should be putting our energies toward trails that already exist and ones that benefit a wider range of the community.
Uri Driscoll, Arcata
In the article "Crossing Little River" (Journal, 7-2-15) it was mentioned that the extension of the Hammond Trail needs an agency to take responsibility for its maintenance, and one option is Caltrans. I suppose if the agency is restricted to "maintenance" it should be appropriate. However, if any other responsibility is ceded to this agency, it would be a big mistake. This corrupt agency has a long history of ignoring the public's needs and/or preferences. To give Caltrans more than minimal authority would inevitably work against users.
Larry Hourany, McKinleyville