This multi-use paved path will extend the existing Crosscut Canal Path, which currently ends at Marigold Lane, south into the Tempe portion of Papago Park to Moeur Park at the NE corner of Mill Ave/Van Buren and Curry Rd. When completed, the expanded Crosscut Canal Path should be an excellent route for cyclists (recreational and commuters) to connect the downtown Tempe area with Scottsdale and the Arizona Canal to the north.
A few months ago I was invited to join the design team and stakeholders in a site visit to discuss path alignment. This was a very instructional meeting and it quickly became clear that there are numerous issues (funding, ADA access, land ownership, connections to existing paths, etc.) to take into account when designing a multi-use facility like the Crosscut Canal Path. As you can see from Project Analysis Map, there many path alignments open for consideration. A number of participants in the site visit (including myself) were concerned that some of the proposed alignments, especially those along the eastern edge of the park, would pave over valuable trails for mountain biking, hiking and trail running. Fortunately, based on the conceptual map for the project, it appears that the stakeholders and design team have converged on a proposed path alignment that will have limited impact on existing trails (single and double track) and will instead utilize already graded service roads along the canal for the alignment.
The Crosscut Canal Path expansion is an import piece of new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the City of Tempe. If you are a frequent user of Papago Park or anticipate using the Crosscut Canal path once extended, please take a moment to comment on this project using the comment form on the project webpage. If you have questions or concerns about the project, the public meeting on Monday night will be a great opportunity to have them addressed.