Group fights for more trails on city’s southeast side

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One group of people is fighting for more trails on the southeast side of Fort Wayne.  The reason: only about one of our 68 miles of local trails goes through that area.  On Thursday they rallied together to figure out what would work best for the community and how to approach city council about it.

“The inner city has been ignored when it comes to trails.  That’s why we are advocating for more of them,” Linda Brooks said.

Linda Brooks has been working for years to get more trails in the area.  Especially since they have a YMCA and about 10 parks.  The only problem is they’re not connected.

“Well, there’s not a waterway out this way, but you have to connect with that,” City Councilman John Shoaff said.

In the 80s when the trails were created, they were designed to be by our rivers.  And there’s not a river in the inner city area.  Out of all of the miles or trails, the southeast side has less than one mile.

“For exercise there’s not really a good area, a good trail you can just get on and say I’m going to go to the store and get my exercise in on the same time,” Brooks said.

Not only could the trails be used for transportation, but also as a means to keep people fit.

“Physical inactivity leads to premature death and unnecessary illnesses.  Now, 20 years later, we can see that that’s true and our community is being plagued by that.”

City Councilman John Shoaff says he feels it’s important to add trails to that area.

“The health aspect is terribly important, getting around is important, and connectivity throughout the city is important,” Shoaff said.

“What is it going to take? It’s going to take each person in the community to go to City Council meetings, be involved with the youth, and actually come up with ideas of their own to be a part of the urban trails project,” Brooks said.

The group of people petitioning for this have plans to present their plan before city council for approval soon.

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