Simply put, for anyone going back and forth between Crookston High School and the CSC, the fact that, if they want to stay on an actual paved path, they have to cross from the north side to the south side and then back onto the north side of Fisher Avenue once they get to the CSC is a situation to be avoided.

    If you count yourself among the apparently growing number of people in Crookston who want to partake in at least reasonably healthy lifestyles, be active and enjoy the fresh air as much as possible by utilizing the growing network of local paths and trails in town, you have to admit that any talk of trails on the “wet side” of the new levee system along the Red Lake River sounds nothing less than tantalizing.

    It would be a pretty sweet walk, bike ride, in-line skating excursion, or however you like to get around in non-motorized fashion, along the river, and the degree to which you’d be invading the privacy of any nearby homeowners would be minimal at the most.

    But maybe that’s too big of a “want” to ask for right now. So, maybe instead, as community leaders talk about continuing to expand Crookston’s network and loops of paths and trails, a “need” should be focused on before any big trail “wants,” and a significant “need” was discussed at this week’s Park Board meeting: To extend the current path along the north side of Fisher Avenue from the railroad tracks to Crookston Sports Center.

    Simply put, for anyone going back and forth between Crookston High School and the CSC, the fact that, if they want to stay on an actual paved path, they have to cross from the north side to the south side and then back onto the north side of Fisher Avenue once they get to the CSC is a situation to be avoided.

    This isn’t a question of convenience, it’s all about safety, or a lack thereof when the current situation is considered. Fisher Avenue is a busy thoroughfare – it’s part of the actual truck bypass around town – and yet there are no stop signs or other traffic control devices to the east of the intersection with University Avenue. Sure, pedestrians and others getting around on the path in non-motorized fashion can press the button on the crosswalk sign just east of the railroad tracks on Fisher Avenue in order to alert motorists to, hopefully, stop, but anyone who has tried that has witnessed the significant percentage of motorists who are unaware or simply not interested in knowing the law when it comes to vehicles having to stop for people waiting to cross in a crosswalk.

    This would be a nice, straight shot, with no fancy engineering necessary. No one could claim it invades their privacy, and the primary benefit would be increased safety for people in Crookston who are out and about on Crookston’s trail system.