While I was in Indy this evening, I ran 10 miles on the Monon Trail from 96th street down through Broad Ripple and back. What a great facility that is. And lots of people in the area are using it. It really seems to add to the quality of life in the area. I have to think that it also boosts property values for nearby properties.
But, I wonder how such a project gets accomplished. I suspect that if the government went around using its condemnation powers to acquire rights of way, there would be a great hue and cry from property rights purists who believe that government should not be defiling the sanctity of property rights for such frivolous purposes. I also suspect that if 90% of the other property owners sold out at a reasonable price, the last few people would be tempted to hold out because they know they can command a windfall premium where the project is largely in place and routing around the hold outs is impractical. I guess if you’re a government leader, and you’re sure a project is going to be a success, you just muddle on through despite the purists, and allow the rest of the community to give them the collective stink eye if they continue to protest after the project turns out to be beneficial to the community.
Anyway, you can count me as a fan of the trail. It was a pleasure to run on.