Sioux Center’s recreation trail system now stretches 7 miles – but planners say they have ideas that could eventually double that length.
During this past week’s City Council meeting, members of the Sioux Center Trails Council shared plans to continue creating trail connections and seek new places to expand the trail.
“Sioux Center continues to grow, and one of the amenities that continues to draw people to Sioux Center is a comprehensive trail system,” said Sioux Center Trails Council member Darryl Ten Pas.
This spring, the trails council plans to create connections between some existing trail segments via city streets. Crews will paint markings called “sharrows” on the driving lane of connecting streets to remind drivers to share the road with cyclists.
Bikes on these routes should follow the same traffic rules as cars. Cars should treat the bikes as a car, leaving enough space when passing and following vehicle traffic rules at intersections.
“We want to raise awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians and make it safer for people to bike, walk and run,” said Brian Van Engen, a member of the Sioux Center Trails Council.
Places sharrows are planned:
• along 16th Street SE, from the existing recreation trail to the new trail at Vernon Park.
• from the trail head on Meadow Drive, west along Third Street. NE to Main Ave.
Planning for new trails
The trails council is interested in creating new segments of concrete recreation trail around Sioux Center. Most of these segments depend on people granting easements on their property to allow a trail.
People interested in granting an easement for a recreation trail on their property can contact Darryl Ten Pas at the City of Sioux Center, (712) 722-0761.
One segment the trails council hopes to add would connect the trail near Regency Park, cross Highway 75 to the area near Wal-Mart, and then head north to 9th Street SW.
Another segment would link the loop near Vernon Park to the trail near the hospital.
Other segments would extend the trail near Open Space Park and near the Tall Grass Townhomes.
Planners would like to replace the blacktop trail linking Sioux Center to the Sandy Hollow recreation area in the next few years.
“The goal of the recreation trail is to connect all parks and schools and neighborhoods and create a safe place for people to walk, run or bike to them,” Van Engen said. “As the town develops, we want to continue to include provisions to get easements through new areas. The council has done a great job of thinking about this.”