What is a Multi-Use Path?
A Multi-Use Path (MUP) or shared-use path is a bi-directional 10-foot wide path that can be used by both pedestrians and bikes. MUP’s are one of three types of bike facilities used in the City, the other two are Signed Bike Routes and Bike Lanes. MUP’s are the only bike facility that are separated from the roadway and therefore provide a higher level of safety for pedestrians and bikes.
Why is the City considering placing a Multi-Use Path on Highcrest Road?
The proposed path would serve as a valuable east / west connection to existing pedestrian and bike facilities, retail, places of employment, and community gathering spaces. Highcrest Road MUP, in addition to allowing access from the neighborhoods to the north and south, would provide access to the River Path to the west, and a connection to Spring Creek Road and the Bike Lanes on Spring Brook Road that ultimately lead to Rock Valley College and the Perryville Path to the east. The City has considered alternate routes along other nearby streets and has found these alternate routes to be either significantly more expensive, requiring more acquisition of private property, or to be more intrusive to the residents.
Why is the Multi-Use Path proposed on the south side of Highcrest Road?
Initially the City and their consultant looked at both sides of the road as possibilities for the proposed path. After a right-of-way survey and preliminary design considerations, it was determined that the south side of the road would be the preferred route as it required less private property acquisition, less impact to mature trees, and had better connectivity to existing and proposed facilities.
Will I have to give up part of my property?
Right-of-way (ROW) is property or area reserved for public transportation purposes like roadways, sidewalks or even railroads. All public roads are within ROW. The Highcrest Road ROW is already between 66 feet and 73 feet wide, which is fairly large for a two lane road. More than likely this is because Highcrest Road at one time was being considered for a four lane roadway. Four lanes of traffic on Highcrest Road are no longer planned, but the area reserved for the larger roadway still exists. The proposed path is within this area that many residents may believe to be their private property; however, it is actually within public ROW. Because of this existing ROW, the vast majority of the project can be done without asking homeowners to give up part of their property. The proposed path will cross in front of approximately 70 homes along Highcrest Road, of which we are only anticipating asking 7 homes for additional property. Nevertheless, homeowners’ yards along the path may look different after the project is completed. In addition, the path may require the removal of trees within the ROW, and some properties may require their front or side yard to be re-shaped or re-graded to accommodate the improvements.