Don Rutledge and Jeff Martin were present as representatives of the
Farnsworth Group. Will DíAndrea from the Logan County Regional
Planning Commission was also present as a co-host of
Martin explained that the Farnsworth Group was hired to put
together an overall master plan for bicycle trails in Logan County.
This plan would ideally connect various parts of Logan County.
Furthermore, Logan County needs to have a plan in order to apply for
any kind of grant money needed to build the trails.
Martin also explained that there are existing bicycle trails in
Bloomington, Peoria and Springfield. In looking at the big picture,
a bicycle trail in Logan County could eventually connect with any of
the trails that are already present in other counties.
Martin had a series of questions for guests as to what should be
considered in brainstorming for this master plan. He said the first
and most important question is: "What are the most important
elements that you think should be in this master plan?"
The most common answer given to this question was connectivity.
Multiple people suggested that the trail should connect various
areas of Logan County, such as existing parks. People also expressed
a desire to see the trails connect to the various communities and
townships in Logan County. It was also suggested that the trails be
built in various types of terrain to create scenic routes.
Another important element is that of ownership. Determining what
land will be used as part of the master plan will provide a look at
which land will need to be bought versus land that is already
Another question Martin asked was: "What types of trails should
the plan include?" Several ideas were presented, such as paved
trails, off-road paths and painted lanes on existing roads.
Suggestions were also brought up to accommodate skaters and people
who just want to walk.
Martin returned to connectivity by bringing up historical sites
the county may want to connect with trails. Martin said this is
pretty obvious: The county would likely want to connect areas such
as downtown Atlanta, the various Abraham Lincoln sites and Route 66.
Martin also asked about natural areas that Logan County would
like to connect with trails. Edward Madigan State Park and Kickapoo
Creek Park were mentioned, as was Elkhart Hill.
One of the more delicate matters brought up for discussion was
whether or not the trails should be given a "brand" of some sort. It
was suggested that the trails become part of the Abraham Lincoln
"brand," meaning that they would be connected to the various
historical sites in the county that are associated with Abraham
On the other side of the argument is Route 66. Adding the trails
to Route 66 may be a little easier. There are already signs on Route
66 with bicycle symbols on them, and they would be easy to
replicate, according to Martin.
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The problem with assigning the trails to either of these "brands"
lies with townships and areas that are not really tied to either
Abraham Lincoln or Route 66. Those towns likely seek to make their
own names for themselves, rather than simply being connected to
previously established landmarks.
Furthermore, each town will likely be working on its own part of
the master plan. A proposed solution would be to name the various
parts of the master plan according to the wishes of each section of
Another question concerned the amenities that could come with the
bicycle trails. Suggestions included car and bicycle parking areas,
mileage markers, park benches or shelters, trash containers, and
possibly signage providing historical knowledge.
Martinís next question was: "What are the priority areas and
phases of the plan?"
One desired bicycle route would be a connection between Lincoln
and Union to the north, along County Highway 2. A trail from Edward
Madigan State Park to Elkhart along Route 66 was also mentioned.
An important phase of the operation will be garnering public
support. The easiest way to do that, according to a few audience
members, is to start on a smaller scale and find ways to connect
communities. One guest commented that "the best trails are the ones
that go through a town, so people have a chance to use them."
The last question of the session concerned cities and counties
outside of Logan that could eventually be connected to the new
trails. It seemed most likely to those involved that any connections
would come from the north, as it is easier for more people to travel
in that direction. Furthermore, Salt Creek provides too large an
obstruction in trying to look south for expansion.
Any such connections would occur years down the line, after the
Logan County trails were finished.
Farnsworth Group provides engineering and architectural services.
Its services include architecture, landscape architecture,
engineering, plumbing, commissioning, consulting and land
development. It serves clients in health care, educational,
recreational and commercial fields, and state, local and federal
government agencies, as well as municipalities. Farnsworth Group is
based in Bloomington and has offices in Missouri, Georgia, Colorado,
Wisconsin and California.
For more information on existing trails in Illinois, visit
[By DEREK HURLEY]