Councilwoman supports Main Street-Twin Hills Park pedestrian link

park main link helt overpass

Industrial Drive, seen in this view from the State Road 85 overpass, would include a foot and bicycle path between Main Street and Twin Hills Park if Councilwoman Robyn Helt's vision becomes reality.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 06:44 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Linking historic downtown Crestview's shopping and dining with Twin Hills Park's recreational opportunities would maximize use from two existing city resources, City Councilwoman Robyn Helt said.

Helt has presented this concept — of a pedestrian and bicycle corridor joining Main Street with the park — to the city's Community Redevelopment Agency, which should have the funds to make it a reality.

Noting the CRA has a cash balance of about $1 million, she said, "my goal is to make sure we're utilizing the resources that we have, to put them back into the CRA district as they are intended to go and do so in a way that will benefit the most number of people."

Downtown's historic, well-defined early 20th-century business district is conducive to strolling and shopping, she said. Extending that classic model along a proposed corridor past the Amtrak railroad shelter on Industrial Drive and into Twin Hills Park at its southwest corner will offer a "continuity of theme," Helt said.

She likened it in concept to Disney World's Main Street U.S.A. that links the theme park's entrance with attractions beyond.

"Connect the two to make it feel serene and safe," Helt said. "There are ways to do it and carry the theme of downtown," including matching Main Street's historically inspired street furniture — such as streetlamps, planters and benches — along the foot and bike path.

Add picnic tables and shelters to the underused portion of southwest Twin Hills Park, couple it with proposed skate and dog parks on the north side, and link it with downtown's resources, and "we, I feel, have the potential to capitalize on the properties we currently have," Helt said.

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