Thursday, April 26, 2012

Anybody Have A Weedwacker?

Not too long ago in Peoria's recent past, it was determined by various organizations and government that the former Kellar Branch from approximately downtown, through the North Valley and Peoria Heights, working its way past Junction City and Knoxville Avenue on its way to meet up with the Rock Island Trail in Alta was better served as a biking/walking trail than a railroad.

While various tactics were used to get this rail line vacated, its upkeep by Pioneer Railcorp and Central Illinois Railway was brought into question, including weeds growing in the lines.  OH, MY!!!  My first thought was to search well researched blog of C.J. Summers in attempt to find who the weed complainants were. However, I don't have all day (no offense to Mr. Summers; it would probably be an easy search) I'm going to guess it was (and my sincere apologies if I'm wrong) either the City of Peoria, Village of Peoria Heights or some faction of the Rails to Trails people or someones associated with aforementioned groups.

Fast forward to today.

A little photo session, if you will:

The first photo is taken from NE Madison, across a tiny park area and Abington Street.  The tracks/future trail seem well maintained.  City, Park District, Neighborhood Association?  But picture two taken from Abington.  OHH, MYYY.  Hmmm....what are those?  WEEDS! That's right, don't be afraid, just shout 'em right out when you know 'em. And what is being hidden by those weeds?  The railway.  And what appears to be between this weed infested ex-rail line and the trees?  A TRAIL!  HOLY!  A trail besides a rail line?  Genius!!  Why didn't anyone think of THAT?  OK, not the trail PROMISED us (I don't think) by various groups of pro-trail advocates, nor probably legal.  However, I did have to wait several minutes to take this picture as there were people using the unsanctioned North Valley section of the trail as I didn't want to have them sign waiver forms. The bird is just going to have to sue me. 

So, it wasn't OK for Central Illinois Rail or Pioneer Rail to have weeds growing in the tracks, but it is OK for the current owners.  I wonder how long it will take for this section to look like the section north of Glen Avenue?

1 comment:

PeoriaIllinoisan said...

Trail next to a rail... yeah, what a crazy idea.

I wonder what their timeline for this is because they sure didn't waste any time ripping the tracks out up north.