Your Aug. 30 Coeur d’Alene Press covered in part the trail work make-over along the east side of U.S. 95. However, it failed to address a few important journalistic issues, such as why such work and who is paying for it, and what will we call the trail when completed.
I frequently drive down 95 in Hayden and I would be surprised if I have observed more than a dozen people per month walking or biking along the trail, or at least along small parts of it. I am sure such a small number will appreciate the new smooth ride. Maybe the new wider repaved trail will now be plowed and open 12 months a year. I can think of a few other reasons for improved trail usage. There is certainly no attractive scenery along the way. And few if any restaurants, water stops or rest areas along the east shoulder of U.S. 95.
The trail widening, repaving and all the additional intersection work looks very expensive while it will do very little to speed up traffic on already over-capacity U.S. 95. Each intersection remains more dangerous than ever for cyclists.
What remains is the question of what does all this work cost and who is paying for this boondangle (and perhaps who dreamed all this up and who approved it)?
I recall reading that more than 90% of funding comes from federal funds… so presumably that makes it OK and eliminates any need for cost benefit analysis. Keep that in mind when you next read about the soaring federal deficit — our deficit — and all our borrowed money for paying for most of the trail work. The only cost I see left out is the cost to name the trail, with a neat sign at each intersection. Any volunteers for a name?
PAUL C. VILANDRE