Open Letter to Michael Black and Parks Commissioners Regarding the Grandview TID Trail Access
It was with disappointment and dismay that I read the following in the Ashland Chronicle:
‘A citizen who spoke this evening to the Parks Commission shares her thoughts: here is the impression that I get from talking to Michael Black ahead of time (before the commission meeting 11/27). He does not think that this issue is worth the money that Parks and Rec. would need to spend to buy the portion of the property in question from Mary Chilton, because, as he told me “There are only 5 parking places there”, so how many people could actually use that trail?’
Only 5 parking spaces? How many people could actually use the Grandview TID trail?
I’ll tell you–a lot. I’ve walked the Grandview trail since 1985 when the trail was still a road we could drive on. I pushed my babies (now 28 and 31) in strollers on that trail. Through the years this trail has provided a lovely and flat walking area for people of all ages and physical abilities to join in the friendly Ashland community. It has served as a gathering place that provided a sense of community to the walkers.
Until the current owner shut down access to the parking area, the Grandview trail was bustling with activity. It was often difficult to get a parking space because it was in such constant use—with many people and animals pouring out of each car.
So how many people could actually use this trail if there are only 5 parking spaces? If only 1 person per car parked in each space every hour and the trail was only used from 7 am to 7 pm daily, you’re talking about only 60 people per day–or only about 2100 per year. But that’s if only one person was in each car.
I often saw cars unload mothers with 2-3 kids; 2 adults with 4 dogs; 5 people with 3 generation families; people with hip or knee replacements accompanied by 1-2 friends and dogs; people with old dogs; and groups of out-of-towners with Ashlanders showing off the best of our community.
I live near the trail and have continued to walk the trail daily. I can tell you it has become a ghost town. By cutting off those 5 parking spaces you have cut off access to those with limited mobility. I miss seeing all ‘the usuals’ from around town hiking the trail.
I, like many other community-minded Ashlanders willingly pay the restaurant tax to support the purchase of open space for parks and rec. The purchase of this slice of Chilton property to reopen 5 parking spaces is the perfect use of that money.
I strongly support and urge you to use the money from the meals tax to purchase this space for the use of all Ashland Citizens.
P.S. Please find the attached petition requesting the Ashland Parks Commission enter into negotiations with the owner of 363 Grandview to purchase the land for parking. I stopped collecting signatures because Chris Hearn requested we stop while the city negotiate with Mary Chilton.
Susan J Meyerott
500 Fernwood Drive