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Two Harbors adopts trail plan

The Two Harbors City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the comprehensive Two Harbors master trail plan Monday, Sept. 10.

The plan, recently completed by the City of Two Harbors Trees and Trails Commission, Planning and Zoning Department and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, is an update of the 2005 comprehensive trails plan to revisit priorities and determine a course of action for additional trail development.

The plan was also created in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and an engineering company, Stantec, that is completing a route analysis of the newly identified U.S. Bicycle Route 41, which connects Minneapolis to Grand Portage.

"Since the trails plan in 2005 was completed, we've seen the development of 5 miles of trail in and around Two Harbors," Two Harbors City Planner Justin Otsea said. "That's a pretty good amount in a little over 10 years."

The plan, completed over the past year and a half, was developed using input from city leaders, residents, public land administrators, trail enthusiasts and other stakeholders through public meetings and online and paper surveys.

After gathering public data and reviewing the existing facilities, the plan prioritizes areas that could be developed. The prioritization could change. The top four priorities in each area include:

Multi-use trail infrastructures

• Creating an extension from South Avenue to the Marina;

• Creating a connection from the underpass to Odegard Park;

• A better alignment from the Gitchi Gami trail to the Flood Bay trail;

• Creating a super sidewalk on Eighth Street.

On-street facilities

• Adding "Share the road" signage, sharrows and other marks to improve shoulder safety on 14th Avenue between 19th and 15th streets;

• Adding bicycle boulevard signage on 13th Avenue, extending up from Fifth Street to the trail connection;

• Utilizing on-street lanes and signage to create a two-way lane along the south side of Sixth Avenue from Eighth Street to the Burlington Bay Campground;

• Share the road signage on Seventh Street from 13th Avenue to First Avenue.

The second and third priorities in this section are "possible demonstration projects" which could be tested by using temporary measures and adjusted based on feedback, according to Otsea.

The plan also supports the development of improved signage for trails, and possible larger scale, multi-modal trailhead facilities at the western city limits.

The plan also includes ATV and snowmobile trail recommendations: preserving the existing connections to the county and other regional trails, support the local snowmobile club, and collaborate with the club on issues of expansion and with enforcement.

Otsea said the plan included information about various funding options that could be used to cover some of the possible improvements and developments.

Following the 40-minute presentation, City Administrator Dan Walker thanked Otsea for his work on the plan.

"This will help us identify areas where trail developments and improvements can be included in future capital improvement projects," Walker said.

The plan can be viewed in brief or in full at ardc.org/twoharborstrails or by visiting City Hall.

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. 

(218) 834-2141