Recently, the parks department started exploring paving the inner portion of the park drive with a softer, engineered surface that would be gentler for runners and walkers, but still allow drainage for rain. The test surface, installed from 9th-11th street on the park drive west, clearly shows this surface isn’t reliable; however, there is still a clear need for an alternate surface to the roadway, as its well documented by now that repeated running on asphalt and running on a roadway with a camber, such as the park drive, can contribute to chronic injuries over time.
I suggest that a cinder/gravel multi-use bridle path be installed that goes around the interior perimeter of the park drive, similar to what’s been installed recently in the park, both from the 10th ave entrance going east from the ball fields towards center drive, and also directly between the skating rink and the park drive on the east side.
As it stands now, it seems the park has more interest in creating a trail/path alternative geared towards the few horses that use the park each week (and are run by a private company) than to suiting the needs of the thousands of runners who use the park weekly. Creating such a type of soft-surface, gravel path would mean we’d relieve over-crowding in the paved rec. lane, which is increasingly bad in the summer when park use swells. It would also have the added benefit of creating a better bridle path for the horses, and by being continuous around the “loop” of park drive, would lead to fewer injury rates in runners/walkers.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.