Home News Local News Some residents oppose city’s plan of using alleys to connect trails

Some residents oppose city’s plan of using alleys to connect trails

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Richard Hesse is concerned about changes in his neighborhood if the city proceeds with a plan to use the alley between Wyoming Avenue and the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River to connect the Cielo Grande and Spring River trails. The city’s Infrastructure Committee will discuss the proposal Monday. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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The city of Roswell has a plan to connect the Cielo Grande bicycle and pedestrian path to the Spring River Trail, but several residents along the proposed connection oppose the idea.

They will get their chance to express their concerns at Monday’s meeting of the Infrastructure Committee. The meeting starts at 4 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Convention & Civic Center, 912 N. Main St.

The meeting will also be available virtually through GoToMeeting. A link and access code can be found on the agenda on the city’s website. It will also be streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel.

The city’s proposal calls for using the alley between Wyoming Avenue and the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River as a connection between the two trails, according to the committee’s agenda.

A petition opposing the plan was submitted to the city in May, signed by seven of 10 property owners on Wyoming Avenue and one on Riverside Drive. Richard Hesse, 706 N. Wyoming Ave., created the petition.

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Turning the alley into a pedestrian and bike path will change the fabric of the community, Hesse said Friday morning at his home, which he bought in 1997.

Several things attracted him to the neighborhood at that time, he said.

“One, this neighborhood was nice and quiet, it backed up to the golf course. I had alley access, so I could bring a motorhome, a trailer in or whatever,” Hesse said.

Dumpsters in the alley were provided for trash service, he said, and he and his neighbors could put out large debris such as tree limbs and grass clippings.

That has already changed. The city has switched the 300-gallon dumpsters for 96-gallon containers to be wheeled to the street. An ongoing water line valve replacement project will temporarily close access to the alley from Eighth Street.

Hesse said aside from losing the convenience of the dumpsters, some people along the street — including his wife — have physical disabilities that make it difficult to move the new containers.

But his greater concerns about the plan are the increase in traffic through the alley and homeowners’ loss of alley access. If the trail connection is approved by the full City Council, the alley will be closed to vehicle traffic.

“If they block off my back alley and do not allow me to have access, that is going to decrease my property values right off the top by $30,000 because now my property doesn’t have motorhome access anymore,” he said.

Hesse has a 12-foot-wide gate in his back fence. He said he’s been told the alley will be blocked just south of his property, but he’s concerned about his neighbors farther south, some of whom also have vehicle access to the alley.

Hesse said that since the Cielo Grande trail was completed, he’s noticed an increase of traffic in the neighborhood. He’s concerned that will grow if the path extends behind his home.

“I don’t want people looking in my backyard. I like to sit in my backyard,” he said.

He’s also concerned more traffic will mean more crime.

Hesse said he’s had to call the police about every three to four weeks to report incidents including gunshots on two occasions in the neighborhood.

Hesse said he plans on speaking at Monday’s committee meeting. The discussion is a non-acton item early on the agenda.

Items on the agenda the committee will consider forwarding to the full council include:

• A resolution regarding a $215,443 pavement rehabilitation program for North Main Street. The resolution, if passed by the full City Council, would support an agreement between the city and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The city would pay $53,861, or 25%, and NMDOT would pay $161,582.

• Awarding on-call engineering professional services to six firms. The city is seeking to establish a pool of vendors that would provide engineering services such as planning, survey, design, construction management and inspection. Six proposals were received and the staff recommendation is to approve all six.

The firms are Bohannan Huston, Albuquerque; Souder, Miller and Associates, Roswell; HDR Inc., Albuquerque; Smith Engineering, Roswell; JSH Engineering LLC, Roswell; and Enprotec, Hibbs and Todd, Abilene, Texas.

• Awarding a contract for the wastewater treatment plant dewatering facility to HDR Inc.

• Review and ranking of infrastructure projects.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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