Photo album: Riverside Trail dedication


  1. Rob Hardy said:

    I’ve added a link back here to the body of my story. I’m always glad when less timid photographers than me, like you and Corey Butler, show up to cover an event!

    July 10, 2010
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Thx, Rob.

    It was interesting to hear Mayor Rossing acknowledge David Ludescher when she was thanking all the people involved with the trail segment. She said something to the effect of “I’d like to thank David Ludescher for keeping the issue alive on the blogs.”

    July 11, 2010
  3. Bill Ostrem said:

    It’s great to see it completed, even if I can only see it in pictures right now! I’d like to see more photos of the trail itself.

    It looks like it has really beautified and made accessible a formerly unimpressive and ignored part of the city. A significant public space has been created. Thanks to everyone who worked on it. I hope to see it in person some day!

    July 11, 2010
  4. David Ludescher said:

    I rode on the trail from 5th Street to Lions/Memorial/Riverside park. There is no way to get from 5th to the trail, exept by walking your bike from 5th and Water to someplace around the back of the old Chamber building. It sure seems as if a 5th Street style bike trail would have made a lot more sense.

    P.S. Mayor Rossing, you are most welcome.

    July 12, 2010
  5. Griff Wigley said:


    The trail extension does connect to 5th St. via the sidewalk. See the photos at:

    including the two new ones I added that have the signs that say “cyclists dismount – walk bicycles.”

    I’d like to see mirrors there so one doesn’t have to dismount.

    For people who want to avoid corner, they can scoot through either parking lot.

    July 12, 2010
  6. David Ludescher said:


    The irony is that it creates a modal disconnect. A 5th Street style bike trail on Water would have saved $250,000.00 and would allow you to RIDE your bike on the BIKE trail.

    July 12, 2010
  7. kiffi summa said:

    Geez, David… relax and give it up.
    It’s done…
    Its beautiful…
    The details are fabulous, thank you Spencer Jones, and frankly I think the details mean that it WILL be maintained well…
    And regardless of which way it went, in front of, or behind the buildings, some cyclist would have thought there was a better way…

    Look WHO is telling you to relax, 🙂

    July 12, 2010
  8. David Ludescher said:


    It’s done… It’s beautiful…It’s $250,000…It’s 600 feet of concrete and asphalt…

    July 13, 2010
  9. Jim Haas said:

    Modal Disconnect. Wasn’t that a heavy metal band in the 80s?

    July 13, 2010
  10. Paul Zorn said:

    At first I misread David L as pointing to a moRal disconnect. That sounded really interesting, and I was ready to go check it out. MoDal disconnection sounds a lot less exciting.

    July 13, 2010
  11. David Ludescher said:

    Paul: I don’t want to get into the (im)morality of spending $250,000 for asphalt and concrete. That’s barely a million meals for Feed My Starving Children.

    July 13, 2010
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    Paraphrasing Matthew 26:11 – “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have TIF District money.”

    July 14, 2010
  13. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: That might the best argument there is. [Of course in Matthew, the woman was spending her own oil on her Lord and Savior. Here, we are spending taxpayers’ money for BoBo’s (bourgeoisie bohemians) and NIMPU’s (Northfield is my personal utopians) so that they don’t have to ride in the street like plebians.]

    July 14, 2010
  14. Bill Ostrem said:


    I have to say that your labels and tone are not in keeping with what I remember is best about Locally Grown. You do your cause no service with them, and I hope you will realize that one day.

    July 14, 2010
  15. David Ludescher said:


    You might be right. Then again, common sense requires that the project have value.

    This is a non-essential, pork-barrel project – plain and simple. I’m embarassed that we spent County and School tax revenues to build it.

    July 15, 2010
  16. Jane Moline said:

    It may be beautiful but it is not much of a bike trail if you have to dismount and walk your bike. I will cut through the parking lots and use the street.

    I like bike trails, but I want to ride fast–if they don’t let me go faster, I will stick to the road.

    I do think it is an excellent use of the TIF dollars, but I have been dodging goose poop on the rest of the trail–why can’t they build goose-proof river barriers, too?

    July 15, 2010
  17. David Ludescher said:

    Jane: I like bike trails too. But, the real purpose of the funds are to improve the downtown, not establish beautiful, recreational amenities for residents. $250,000 is real taxpayer money.

    July 16, 2010
  18. Jane Moline said:

    I see the value in amenities, but I am shocked by the price tag for work. I really believe we should be leveraging any tax-dollar project when possible to use volunteer or lower price labor. I do not believe that every construction job requires years of experience, a college degree and a union membership. Right now we should be using a alphabet soup of organizations to keep people working and get public works jobs done–especially beautification–because when we are in such economic doldrums we really need that beauty in our lives. Bring back the WPA.

    July 16, 2010
  19. David Ludescher said:

    Jane: The price tag was high, but Northfield agreed to pay it. That’s the shocking part.

    July 16, 2010
  20. Bill Ostrem said:

    Some segments of a road or trail are much more expensive than others. The 1 mile of a highway that goes through a tunnel is much more expensive than the rest of the highway. A freeway interchange, with its bridge and ramps, is massively more expensive than a straight stretch of road.

    This trail segment is between buildings and a river and required special features that made it expensive. But it reclaims a stretch of river inthe middle of the city from being Dumpster Alley and makes it an attractive public space.

    The real test of its value will be in how many people use it, and how many people use it will in part depend on the quality of the trail system that it connects to.

    My guess is that in the end it will be a well-worthwhile investment.

    July 16, 2010
  21. I think that depends on who calls the ‘end’ and when.

    July 17, 2010
  22. David Ludescher said:

    Bill: Think about it this way: If every biker who used that portion of the trail had to pay for using it, do you think the “investment” would ever repay itself? If not, then why should the downtown taxpayers and/or the government be subsidizing an alternate, more scenic route for bikers when there is a sensible, cheap (plebian) alternative?

    July 18, 2010
  23. Paul Zorn said:


    You said above (in 6.1):

    … Then again, common sense requires that the project have value.

    Agreed. The live question is whether the project offers good value for money.

    And then:

    This is a non-essential, pork-barrel project – plain and simple.

    “Essential” is a high bar. What sort of projects would clear it for you?

    And then:

    I’m embarassed that we spent County and School tax revenues to build it.

    Was educationally earmarked money (“School tax revenue”) in some direct way diverted to this project? Or do you just mean that money is fungible, so spending from one pocket is much like spending from another?

    July 18, 2010
  24. David Ludescher said:


    I suggested to the Streetscape Committee that it develop a quantifiable methodology or a rubric to determine value. In the simplest terms, I suggested a three part test. First, compared to non-Streetscape government projects, how does it compare? Second, within the framework of possible Streetscape projects, how does it compare? Third, within the framework of other options for the same or similar service, how does it compare? These seemed like fair tests.

    This project flunks all 3 tests.

    Yes, money is fungible. We took money out of three of our own pockets (County, City, and School), made a four pocket (Streetscape). We should be using the same kind of caution spending from the fourth pocket that we would have used for the other three.

    July 18, 2010

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