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Wanted to pass this along....

Hello, 
You are invited to the following event:

NORTH BRANCH SOUTHERN EXTENSION COMMUNITY MEETING

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Thursday, August 21, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)

Matthew Bieszczat Volunteer Resource Center 
6100 N. Central Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60646

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Please join the Community Open House to hear about the North Branch Trail Southern Extension. The Open House will have staff on-hand to provide information about the trail extension and answer questions.

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter, or forward this email to your neighbors and colleagues. 

We hope you can join us!

Thank you-
Forest Preserves of Cook County

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Bob,

I second the notion that bicyclists need to arrive and show support for the FPDCC. Emphasis on non-confrontational support. I'll be there Thursday the 21st.

Signed,

Sean M. O'Grady

-An (almost) daily rider up to the Edgebrook Metra from North Mayfair and patiently waiting for the connection to the NBT! Both as a commuter and a leisure rider with kids in-tow!


Bob Kastigar said:

I was at the last meeting - and it turned into a brouhaha.  We need a lot of bicyclists to show up and support the Forest Preserve in this project.

In my opinion: This trail extension will get built in spite of the opposition to the neighbors who want to remain living in the woods.  Minor changes have already been made, taking into consideration some of the suggestions from the neighbors.  These changes were explained at the previous meeting.

The people from the neighborhoods kept suggesting keeping the route on city streets - and they kept referring to these residential streets as "bike paths".

In my opinion: these meetings are just being held to give the neighbors a chance to vent and complain.  We need many to show up, not to engage in argument or discussion but to show support for the Forest Preserve for this kind of work and for this project.

Drat, Thursday is the day everybody has picked for meetings.... I will miss the Trail meeting because I'll be downtown planning for the Sept 21st Peoples Climate March in NYC. Also will miss the meeting down in Pullman District for getting National Park Status for the District which could go far to help illuminate the conditions that lead to the Chicago Labor movement and the killings by the military at stikes and labor rallys. 

If anybody qestions what 'local' residents believe I am in favor of extending the trail to Foster and Kilbourn tho I haven't seen the route yet. I live in the 5800 blockl of Peterson.

I wonder if the anti-bike zealots from the Milwaukee Ave meetings will attend, tho from the drivers license that one 'mouth' was waving around it might be to far to cross the street for him.

Was at the meeting as was Bob and Brian.

Cheers for Brian when he said, "build this thing" already. (Words to that effect.)

There were a lot of people in favor of it who live  in and around the area. Even the Old Edgebrook folks weren't as much against the trail as I expected but wanted it to go on their streets through the neighborhood or cross Central with a bridge or somewhere else. I can understand their issue: they live in the middle of gridlock where they can't get in or out across Central because of pissed-off motorists.

I was considering pointing out that their problems are not going to be made worse by the bike trail but the point was made by others.

In fairness to them, the crossing at Central is going to be a grade-level, push-button and wait for the light to change. This type of light exists at Touhy and I don't recall ever being stopped by it as a motorist and only rarely needing it to cross Touhy as a biker.

A bridge over Central would be better but nearly impossible due to cost and not having enough room for the approaches. The Edgebrookers kept up a constant request for looking at alternatives which the FP promised to address privately but it is clear this project is going forward.

I'm not clear on one point: how is this thing going to cross Devon? Map doesn't say.

The FP has posted this information page:

http://fpdcc.com/preserves-and-trails/plans-and-projects/north-bran...

A better map is now available online here:

http://fpdcc.com/downloads/NorthBranchTrailSouthExtension-8-13-14.pdf

One other valid concern was the number of trees that will be taken out with the FP saying it's 400 and many of those being dead or Buckthorn. The residents said their FOIA request return showed 5,000. I still say I prefer biker lives over trees, as much as I love trees (and I love them more than some bikers). The FP said that the 5,000 number was inches of trees not actual trees.

I am sorry I missed it, but glad it is still going forward.

It is funny because most of the trail they are proposing is dirt BMX trails and such I rode back when I was younger, so I would imagine that they are closer to the 400 trees versus 5000 since those paths are wide enough to squeeze cars and Jeeps down them (I have seen enough burnt out cars in the woods or the river back there).

Plus that section of Central is a fricking RACE TRACK all the time.  I hate riding down there unless I have to.....which is very rarely.

THroughout the forest preserve system, there are thousands and thousands of dead or dying ash trees. I suspect that's a large percentage of what was mentioned as dead trees. Buckthorn is a huge problem for the health of our forests. Getting rid of it in order to create a healthier ecosystem with more native species is a GOOD thing.  Just my $0.02 from a TreeKeeper perspective.

Tominator said:

I couldn't make it but my wife did.  She texted me 'I smell NIMBYism approaching,' and left around 7 when the real crazies started.  'How many trees will be murdered!?!' and so on.  I've been at similar meetings, to do with the reconstruction of the riverbank at Horner Park.   There are people who have things near their house just the way they like it and feel that gives them the right to dictate what happens outside their property lines. And they should have some say, that's why there are zoning laws.  But something like this, which will benefit lots of people (and the NBT is heavily used), obviously takes precedence.  

I showed up to the meeting aroun 7:15. There was a full house, nowhere to sit. People were taking turns commenting. They seemed upset, but I didn't stay long enough to figure out why. It seemed like it might go on for a while and reminded me too much of the Milwaukee Ave meetings. I filled out a comment form strongly supporting the extension and went back home.

I was expecting pure NIMBY but was pleasantly surprised that there was very little of that. Also, I thought the FP handled it pretty well. They'll give the community as much input as they want but it's clear that it's going forward in its present configuration.

Any future meetings planned that are known already?

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