Decision Maker Response

Ann Lenczewski’s response

Ann Lenczewski
State Representative

Nov 1, 2014 — Thank you so much for emailing me about the portion of the Minnesota River Valley State Trail that runs through Bloomington. As you may know the Legislature has approved the Minnesota River Valley State Trail and, upon completion of Bloomington segment, the trail will be completed from Fort Snelling to Le Sueur, Minnesota. I appreciate and value your input.

I am pleased to learn of your interest and I encourage you to attend the next meeting I am holding regarding the Minnesota River Valley/Minnesota River Bottoms trail use in Bloomington. Like you, I am an avid user of the the Minnesota River Valley Trail. I use the Minnesota River Valley at least weekly year-round. I have been using the trails throughout the Bloomington portion of the Minnesota River Valley for many decades.

I am disappointed that misinformation has been disseminated about the future of the current trail system. The current trail, which is used by both walkers/hikers and mountain bikers, is not being eliminated. There will be some changes as the hard surfaced Minnesota River Valley State Trail is completed, but the ability to engage in off-road/mountain biking will remain. As you may know, the paved state trail has been planned and worked on for decades. We all need to share this precious public asset.

The supporting documents for the legislation, that was passed and signed into law, directs both completion of the hard surface/paved Minnesota River Valley State Trail and a natural/mountain trail through the valley. The supporting documents reference planned state paved trail and the natural trail which as you know, is used by off-road cyclists, runners and hikers.

All interested trail users need to come together to accommodate one another. This is public land and is to be used by everyone - not just one type of user. It should be noted that there will likely be some places where the paved trail and natural trail will most likely need to come together but I am certain if we all work together we will have a high quality trail system that will work for all.

If you have been using the trail now you know that we are already have issues with trail safety between hiking/running/walking and biking. I personally have been involved in some near-miss collisions on the trail. I know that the Minnesota Valley/Minnesota River Bottoms in Bloomington is a special place. It needs to be available to all.

Working together we can accommodate all--- bikers who prefer hard surface, those who commute to work via bike, off-road bikers, walkers, hikers, bikers, the elderly, strollers and the disabled.

Please let me know if you would like to attend my next trail users meeting. And please include your postal mailing address so that I can send you the meeting notice.

Thanks again for writing and I will see you down on the trail - literally!

Ann Lenczewski
State Representative