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Here are some of the trails to be cleared come time for snowfall in Cedar Falls

CEDAR FALLS – Two stretches of recreational trail were recently added by Public Works Department staff to a list for clearance when it snows this winter.

Brian Heath, city operations and maintenance division manager, told the Cedar Falls Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee last week that, “when conditions allow,” a trail on Greenhill Road will be included in its plans, starting at the intersection with West 27th Street, and going all the way out to the eastern city limits, and north onto Cedar Heights Drive, before University Avenue.

The second section of trail includes Union Road, from the intersection with 12th Street, and on to First Street, until its intersection with Hudson Road. The areas were added because of new development in the works and are labeled as high demand.

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Paula Fleming, trailed by Teal Fleming, 4, starts out on a bike ride as Rachel Proffitt, back left, and Kayla Fleming follow suit for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Spokes Spooks and Sneakers Ride/Walk/Run fundraiser at Gateway Park in Cedar Falls in 2013.

An additional two sections are labeled by Heath as “proposed” for snow removal.

Once development is complete, a portion of Cedar Heights Drive south of Greenhill Road could be added, and once the new high school is built out, the second would be West 27th Street and Union Road, between the 12th Street and Greenhill Road intersections.

Trails are cleared of snow based on the availability of manpower and functioning equipment, Heath stressed. Public streets, buildings and sidewalks take precedent over trails, especially those in the areas of the Cedar Falls Parkade, College Hill, and schools.

In addition, he warned, “If we get into a cycle where we have melting during the day and freezing at night, we’re not necessarily treating these trails with sodium,” he noted. “We just don’t get around to doing that.”

The proposed additional trail sections are on top of higher priority trails that have been cleared for a number of years.

“I think what we’ve got here is a pretty decent network, that gets a loop around the west side of city, and it loops to the southern part of the city, with University and Greenhill, and then we have a lot of other on-street accommodations for bikes in the winter time that will get you to some of these other locations up north,” Heath said.

Some trails that have been previously plowed include a sector of Lone Tree Road and Center Street, as well as near Cedar Falls Utilities on Waterloo Road to Pfeiffer Springs Park. Another example is University Avenue, from College Street to the eastern city limits, and a portion of South Main Street down to the dog park.

Input sought for future of Cedar Falls trail and bike system

Some discussions by the committee and staff centered around creating a map that goes beyond which recreational trails are cleared by the city, combining other on-street access points and sidewalks, as well as areas that may be cleared by the University of Northern Iowa or private property owners.

It would present a better picture for which options when combined would offer a continuous path for pedestrians and cyclists after it snows.

“Ultimately what I think would help people is showing them where they can expect — a couple days after snow is done being cleared — to go for a running loop, with the understanding that with the core grid, you can go on the streets anywhere. If I just want to use a trail, where can I find something continuous,” said Committee Chairman Andrew Shroll.

“I think that would be a really nice step to help people,” he added.

Discussions were referenced as having taken place at a City Council meeting a year ago, but at this point, Heath said, the presented map is considered a “done deal.”

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