According to the 2019 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, around 85% of the residents used walking, biking and hiking trails in the previous year, Agrawal said. Additionally, in the 2016 Comprehensive Transportation Plan, about 95% of residents responded saying they would like to walk and bike if improvements were made to the city's trail network, he said.
"As we all know, the Milton residents love their trail network," Agrawal said during the meeting. "The 2020 trail master plan puts the focus on community participation and community involvement into the trail planning activities of Milton."
The plan prioritizes walking, hiking, biking and horse-riding trails in the following areas in Milton: Crabapple, Deerfield, Birmingham Park, Preserve at Cooper Sandy and the Preserve at Lackey Road. Funding for these trails is planned to come from Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds, the city's sidewalk fund, impact fee and general funds as well as federal transportation funds and grant programs.
About 1.8 miles of off-street trails, 5.3 miles of side paths, 6.6 miles of sidewalks and 11 crossing treatments are recommended in the plan to encourage a pedestrian environment in Milton, Agrawal said. The plan also recommends 4.2 miles of decomposed granite trails, 9.5 miles of native soil trails and 97 parking spaces to be added within the city's 2016 green space bond fund properties—which include the Preserve at Cooper Sandy and the Preserve at Lackey Road—and Birmingham Park.
"Years ago, [trails committee] was rolled into the parks and rec committee under a different adviser ... at that point, very low money, very low priority," committee chair Brian Maloney said during the meeting. "This is a high priority now."
For phasing in the trail plan gradually, four funding tiers were created for each priority area: Tier I for within two years of plan, Tier II for between two and five years of plan, Tier III for between five and 10 years of plan, and Tier IV for aspirational projects after 10 years or when funding is available.
Here are the summary initiatives and cost estimates—including the aspirational, or Tier IV initiatives—for the five priority areas:
- Cost: $20.4 million
- Add 0.77 miles of off-street trails
- Add 1.3 miles of side paths
- Add 2.8 miles of sidewalks
- Add three crossing treatments
- Cost: $24.85 million
- Add 1.3 miles of off-street trails
- Add 3.1 miles of side paths
- Add 3.8 miles of sidewalks
- Add eight crossing treatments
- Birmingham Park
- Cost: $6.23 million
- Add 4.7 miles of native soil trails
- Add 2.3 miles of decomposed granite trails
- Add 52 general and equestrian trailer parking spaces
- Preserve at Cooper Sandy
- Cost: $2.99 million
- Add 1.1 miles of native soil trails
- Add 1.3 miles of decomposed granite trails
- Add 25 parking spaces
- Preserve at Lackey Road
- Cost: $3.86 million
- Add 3.7 miles of native soil trails
- Add 0.6 miles of decomposed granite trails.
- Add 0.1 miles of boardwalk
- Add 19-20 parking spaces
The full trails master plan can be found here. The full final adoption of the plan by council is expected to take place at the next City Council meeting on July 20 at 6 p.m. at Milton City Hall, 2006 Heritage Walk, Milton.