FAQ About the Trails
Q: Would the trail be plowed in the winter or would residents be obligated to plow the section of trail crossing their land?
A: The trail would likely not be plowed in the winter months and if it were to be plowed, it would be by the township, not individual residents.
Q: Would property owners have to get additional insurance for any portion of the trail crossing their property or be liable for any accidents occurring on the segment of trail crossing their property?
A: No. Private landowners who allow public access to their property—as when a trail crosses or abuts your property—are also protected by recreational use statutes in all 50 states. Under these statutes, no landowner is liable for recreational injuries resulting from mere carelessness if they have provided public access to their land for recreational purposes.
Q: Will I have to lose the big trees in my yard?
A: Typically if trees are located in the route where the trail will lie, they are identified and then, if agreeable to the landowner, the trail route and any necessary easements can be worked out with the land owner to go around the trees. However, some cutting of some trees is unavoidable.
Q: What is the route of the trail going to be?
A: At this point the exact route of the trail is undetermined but the final route is gradually becoming more solidified. The route is dependent upon several factors. The first goal is to connect Luton Park on 10 Mile Road with the Myers Lake Park and with the White Pine Trail in the City of Rockford. The trail can only cross Northland Drive at a stop light and can only cross 10 Mile Road near Myers Lake Avenue. Other considerations that must be taken into account include but are not limited to: terrain, swamps and wetlands, cost, and property owner opinion.
Q: Will snowmobiles be allowed on the trail?
A: At this point the trail is not being considered for snowmobile use though the township is willing to listen to all user groups as the process moves forward. Snowmobile use would require different, more expensive asphalt.
6. Golf Carts
Q: Will golf carts be allowed on the trail?
A: At this point the trail is not being considered for golf cart use though the township is willing to listen to and consider additional uses. There are numerous recreational trails in other states (Florida for example) where golf carts share trails with other users and are limited to 10mph. At least one golf course (Braeside) is located along or near the current route under consideration.
Q: Who will pay to maintain the trail?
A: Courtland Township will pay for all trail maintenance within its borders. Click article on analysis of trail maintenance costs
Q: What about crime from trail users?
A: Various studies have been conducted on this topic and have found no increase in crime. See the following websites:
9. Property Values and Other Benefits of Trails
Q: What is the likely effect on my property value if I have a trail crossing my property or near it?
A: Studies have shown approximately a 5% increase in property values. Other reasons why trails are good for residents include: recreation for all ages – biking, rollerblading, and walking; safety from roadways, healthy form of exercise and transportation; and trails offer a sense of community building. See the websites above for crime details. See the following for more details on benefits of trails:
10. Property Taxes
Q: Will having a trail on my property affect my property taxes?
A: If anything they will go down.
11. Bike Lanes
Q: Will the bike paths being proposed be a separate path or a paved shoulder?
A: What is being considered would be a separate bike trail, not a paved shoulder or bike lane, although all options are on the table.
12. Trail Width
Q: How wide would the trail be?
A: 10 feet of pavement.
13. Easements Needed
Q: Will easements be needed to cross private properties?
A: Along some segments, the trail can be located within the road’s right-of-way and no easements would be required. In other places and along other roads with more narrow rights-of-way, easements would likely be needed on a case-by-case basis from private property owners.
14. Easement Width
Q: How wide would the easement be if the trail could not be fit within the road right-of-way?
A: This would vary; however, the trail would be 10 feet wide with 2.5 ft shoulders on either side so as much as a 15-foot-wide easement might be necessary in certain limited places, however, a wider temporary construction easement might be needed where there are steep banks which might require retaining wall. Also, an easement might be negotiated with a landowner in order to save prominent trees or to avoid wetlands. Suffice to say, easement width would depend on the exact circumstances at each property.
Q: Would horses be allowed on the trail?
A: At this point, horse access is not being considered due to incompatibility with other trail users.
Q: Are dogs allowed on the trail?
A: Dogs will be allowed on the trail but they must be leashed, under control and licensed. Dog owners must clean up properly after their dogs.
Q: Would roller blades be allowed?
Q: Would skateboards be allowed?
19. Trail Surface
Q: Would the trail be paved? With what?
A: The trail would be asphalt most likely, or concrete as an alternative.
Q: How much would the trail cost?
A: Cost estimates are unavailable at this point, though typically it costs about $400,000 per mile of trail for easement costs and drafting, engineering, site preparation, and construction costs.
21. How would the trail(s) be paid for?
Q: There are multiple state and federal grants for recreational trails. In addition, local foundations would be approached and donations solicited. In addition, efforts would be made to decrease the costs with volunteered labor and materials. It is likely that some local matching would be required from Courtland Township. There is no plan to seek a milage from township residents to pay for trails.
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