MSSU to Northpark Mall Trail

03/07/2013 21:51

February 7, 2013

Our View: Walking the walk

An announcement was made earlier this week that Missouri Southern State University and the city of Joplin will build a trail that will link the university campus with Northpark Mall.

 The 2,000-foot-long trail — to be paved with asphalt to accommodate both foot and bicycle traffic — will be built between the MSSU soccer fields and the parking lot of the Hollywood Theaters Northstar 14. It will include a pedestrian bridge over Turkey Creek.

The trail is long overdue. In fact, we’re surprised that mall management didn’t proceed with it long ago. Certainly, it will be a direct route now for many mall customers — namely university students.

But the trail represents more than a geographic connection. It is another step toward drawing MSSU into the Joplin community.

Construction of the trail won’t begin until late this year. We would hope it will ease some of the traffic congestion on and around mall property. It also will offer tremendous convenience and greater safety for about 700 students who live on campus.

Then, of course, there’s the health and environmental benefits of riding a bike or walking. Once the mall trail is complete, the city plans to begin the next phase of the project. The objective is connecting the university to downtown Joplin through the city’s trails system.

Under design is a section of the trail that would extend from North Florida Avenue to Range Line Road along Newman Road. Next will be an extension along Newman Road to the campus.

We give high praise to these trail projects and the people who use them. It is an excellent means of alternative transportation — or for some their only transportation.

Sometimes getting to your destination on the power of your own two feet is an excellent way to arrive.