According to The Desert Sun
The CV Link project has raised some controversy in Palm Springs, as in other valley cities, with some residents calling on the City Council to put the issue to the voters as a ballot amendment in the upcoming municipal election. While Mayor Rob Moon has been supportive of that idea, other council members have dismissed the notion, saying the public did vote when they chose who to put on the council to make decisions on behalf of the city’s residents. Palm Springs’ council has been roundly supportive of the pathway, with the exception of Moon. While the mayor has not advocated dropping out of the project, he has expressed concerns about the length of the pathway — Palm Springs’ portion is longer than those of other cities — and whether the city would be able to afford maintenance costs, should cities be required to pony up for those expenses. The Coachella Valley Association of Governments, which is spearheading the pathway project, has tossed out ideas on how to pay for maintenance costs, but has not settled on one yet.
"We’re talking about 10 miles of CV Link, north of the city and east of the city where there’s nobody around there, and we’re going to have all this infrastructure up there. And I’m just curious, how long… is all of the this infrastructure going to last before it’s ripped out and stolen and we have to start replacing it,” Moon told his council members during a discussion of the trail, which was not up for a vote of any sort. “I really think that we should look at this after we have an idea of what it’s going to cost, or what it could cost." Moon went on to note amenities like shade structures, water fountains, vehicle charging stations, lighting, landscaping and other features to come with the CV Link are subject to vandalism and theft.
“Our sign, as you come into the city, which is new, has already had the LED lighting ripped out,” he pointed out, a suggestion that the CV Link would be pillaged by vandals. “It’s already been broken.”
The pathway begins at the Palm Springs Visitors Center at Tramway Road and Highway 111 before it winds behind the northern-most homes in Desert Highland Gateway Estates, providing views of Mt. San Jacinto, the windmills and Mt. San Gorgonio. Following the Whitewater River Wash, the path will cross over Gene Autry Trail north of Vista Chino before following the border between Escena and Cimarron Golf Courses as it enters Cathedral City south of Ramon Road.
In the Desert Highlands Gateway Estates neighborhood of Palm Springs —where one of the proposed access points to the pathway sits Desert Highland Park and The James O.Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center.
The community center and adjoining 18 arce park feature basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, a weight room, a baseball field, electric vehicle charging station and computer and sewing classes. It also serves as a venue for after school programs and summer camps.
A recent youth risk behavior survey conducted by Loma Linda University and the Desert Healthcare District in the Desert Highlands Gateway Community of Palm Springs showed a significantly higher percentage of children in the Desert Highlands neighborhood were obese than in California or the nation as a whole. The survey also showed neighborhood students who played sports and exercised frequently were much less likely to get in fights, be sent to detention and drink alcohol and were much more likely to pass their classes and get more than eight hours of sleep each night.
Joe Gonzalez of Cathedral City and Rashad Poole of Palm Springs both said they liked the idea of CV Link and would likely use it themselves. The 18 year olds had driven to the James O. Jessie center to play basketball and said they thought the link would provide a safer way for people to get around the Coachella Valley by bicycle.
Deiter Crawford said he supported the project and thought it would be a community asset, but the Coachella Valley Association of Governments had missed out on opportunities to highlight assets in the neighborhood. “I grew up riding my dirt bike in the Whitewater wash and many times have used it to visit family in the Dream Homes neighborhood of Cathedral City and Crossley Tract section of Palm Springs. What I don't understand is why Desert Highland Park or the (James O. Jessie) Desert Highland Unity Center is not listed as a "Point of Interest" or in the "Parks & Gardens" section of the Map?” Crawford said in an email, referring to a map of the pathway provided by CVAG which highlights points of interest along the path.
But for now, the pathway that could emerge along the Whitewater River remains a dirt and gravel embankment.
By the numbers:
Chino Canyon Levee connect to Desert Highland Park
Length: 1214 ft. Total Cost: $216,100
Desert Highland Access Point (Access Local)
Total Cost: $257,600
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