THOMASVILLE — The City of Thomasville’s Planning and Zoning Commission has accepted a steering committee’s recommendations on the community trail.

When the community trail is completed, it is expected to be a 15-mile walking and biking trail connecting 17 parks. The projected completion date is 2020.

“Ideally, we’d like to get the section from the amphitheater down West Jackson Street, across Victoria and to Paradise Park,” said city planner Brian Herrmann.

The goal, he said, is to connect the amphitheater to Paradise Park, then to Cherokee Park and eventually have the trail lead to MacIntyre Park.

“Then we have a nice semi-loop from the amphitheater to MacIntyre Park,” Herrmann said.

He said the goal is to get that done within the next year to a year-and-a-half

The steering group endorsed what is being called phase 1 of the trail, Herrmann said, a stretch that runs from in front of the under-construction amphitheater on Stevens Street, the West Jackson Street section to Bartow, the section to Lester and the section that meanders through Paradise Park.

Also endorsed was phase 2, the section from Susie Way that crosses Smith Avenue and goes to Cherokee Park, and phase 3, along Reed Street. Phase 4A, which also was endorsed, includes a stretch from MacIntyre Park to Mitchell Street.

“It’s a really beautiful section of trial,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann said if the city can acquire the property, it can make the connection from Northside Park to Cassidy Lake.

The steering committee recommended re-evaluating a section from Flipper Park to Weston Park and to re-examine the best way to connect the two.

“There are a couple of overpasses and underpasses through there and we want to get the best route possible,” Herrmann said

An inner loop down Clay Street also was asked to be re-evaluated.

Phase 6 is a long stretch from Balfour Park down Pinetree Boulevard, then up Magnolia to Lester and eventually to Victoria Place.

The steering committee’s purpose is to look at location, design, phasing, policies and outreach, among other topics.

So far, more than 8,000 feet of the 1.7-mile-long trail have been constructed. The amphitheater under construction along Stevens Street will be the trailhead. The total cost for the trail is projected to be $8 million, with $5 million coming from the 2012 special purpose local option sales tax.

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806

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