An example of the boards at the information session. (Megan Glenn/News and Times)

In an effort to connect with the community about the trail connection for Highway 25, the Watertown city council and staff held an information session on December 18. The session allowed community members in attendance to evaluate the options the city and planning commission were looking at, ask questions, and submit comments for review by the planning commission and city council.

The trail connection has been a topic for the council since May, and has gone through a few different scenarios with the same goal in mind: connect Highway 25 and Lewis Avenue by using the trail. At first, the idea was to go along Territorial Street, but after listening to input from the community, the council and planning commission settled on Madison Street.

At the information session, residents got the chance to see what the options are for extending the Luce Line Trail to the 25, each with different benefits and drawbacks. The first would to pave a sidewalk closer to the street, right along the shoulder, while adding a curb at the end of the sidewalk. The second moves the proposed sidewalk further away from the road, giving the pedestrians traveling along it more space. The third is to put down a trail path with a sidewalk separating the path and the road. Finally, the fourth is similar to the second, only it would be a trail path instead of a sidewalk.

There are different effects of each options, most notably tree removal. Option 1, for example, removes only two trees along Madison Street, while Option 3 would remove a total of 21. These differences are what led to the city staff seeking community input in the first place, as there’s still time before they have to finalize plans for next year’s construction.

If you couldn’t make it to the information session, not to worry. There are still two meetings set in January to discuss the plans for the walking path between Highway 25 and Lewis Ave. The first is a planning commission meeting on January 15, where they will be reviewing and re-reviewing all the input they’ve received from the community. Their suggestions will then 

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