Trail Projects

Tienken Educational Pathway Project

Plans  are underway to develop an Educational Pathway north of Tienken.  The pathway will be surfaced with crushed asphalt, and several educational displays will be placed along the 1/4 mile path.  In addition, we will be adding a few benches, a trash receptacle, dog waste bag dispenser, and native plant gardens.

The project site is located 800 feet north of Bridge 32.3, which is the first bridge north of Tienken, on the east side.  The project site is on Trailways Commission property, between the developed Paint Creek Trail and the Kings Cove Condominiums.

To provide more information on this project, we’ve developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (Click here for a PDF copy:  Tienken Pathway FAQs):

What is the mission of the Paint Creek Trailways Commission?

The Trailways Commission is charged with managing the Trail property, and takes great thought and effort into providing the best experience for all trail users and visitors.  Their mission is “to provide trail users a natural, scenic, and educational recreation experience while preserving the ecological integrity of the Paint Creek Trail for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Why are you developing this pathway? The Paint Creek Trailways Commission has been interested in developing interpretive passive recreation side trails for over 15 years, and has included such projects in their Recreation Master Plans.  In addition, the section of the trail in the City of Rochester Hills was next in line for a cultural project (the first project was a Burr Oak Leaf Sculpture in a Gazebo-style structure in Oakland Township.  The second project was the Rochester Historical Art project, a series of 6 glass displays along the Downtown Rochester River Walk).  The Commission feels the location of the first interpretive side path is appropriate because an unofficial path has already been created, and very little earthwork would need to be done. The PCTC believes this project fulfills its mission.

What kind of surface will be developed? As an in-kind service to the Trail, the City of Rochester Hills will be recycling crushed asphalt to make this path.  It will be 6 feet wide, and approximately 4 inches deep of finely crushed asphalt.  The same materials were recently used in the Rochester Hills section of the Clinton River Trail.  It will NOT be paved.  The surface will look very similar to the current Paint Creek Trail surface, but will appear slightly darker in color.

Why does it need to be 6 feet wide? There are two reasons the new pathway will be 6 feet wide.  To be in compliance with Federal Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, any new public pathway must be at least 5 feet wide to accommodate wheelchairs.  Secondly, the equipment that will be used by the City of Rochester Hills to develop the surface is 6 feet wide, and cannot be made smaller.

Will the new surface be too hot for my dog’s paws? No.  Your dog can safely walk on the crushed asphalt.  It will not retain heat like a paved road.

When will the surface be developed? We are dependent on the City of Rochester Hills to provide the staff, equipment, and resources for the surface.  The earliest timeframe would be late October through late November 2015.

What else is planned for the pathway? We plan on building native plant gardens in several sections along the path.  We will also have a “respite” area with a few benches, trash cans, and dog waste bag dispenser.  We will have 3-5 interpretive displays spread out on the ¼ mile path.  Subjects of the displays may include:  Native Plants vs Invasive species; Trail history; Wildlife along the trail; Trail etiquette; and the Paint Creek Designated Trout Stream.

What is the timeline for the interpretive displays?The priority is the pathway development.  Once that is done, we will plan and design the interpretive displays, and work with local gardeners regarding the native plants.  We are hoping to develop the displays in 2016 by late fall.

Who is paying for this project?The City of Rochester Hills is providing some in-kind labor and materials, as they are a member community of the Paint Creek Trailways Commission (an intergovernmental agency) The Paint Creek Trailways Commission, the Friends of the Paint Creek Trail, and local grant dollars will pay for the development of the project.  The benches will be made of recycled plastic and will be paid for by donors.

I am concerned about maintenance and trash. Who will be maintaining this pathway?The City of Rochester Hills Parks and Forestry Department currently maintains their section of the Paint Creek Trail.  They will also maintain the new pathway, and will empty the trash when they empty the other trash cans along the trail. We expect no increase in the amount of trash collected above that which is now generated on the parallel section of the main trail.

I am concerned about safety and speeding bicycles. What are your plans regarding both?  Based on initial feedback from residents in Kings Cove, we will make this path pedestrian only, and install “no bicycle riding” signs.  This should alleviate some concerns about bicycles. The Oakland County Sheriff Mounted Patrol will continue patrolling this area seasonally.  In addition, we plan on developing the path with diversions that would deter any fast riding for bicyclists that choose to ignore the “no bicycle riding” rule.

This is close to my condo, and I’m worried people will trespass or use this area as a bathroom. We understand that this path will be a little wider and more developed than the current path, and understand you may be concerned about your property.  After speaking with some board members, we have offered to install “Private Property – No Trespassing” signs at several of the access points that residents of Kings Cove have created over the years.  We will do our upmost to discourage anyone from entering Kings Cove.  In addition, since this area will be developed and maintained, we believe there will not be people using this area as a bathroom.  We provide a restroom seasonally 1000 feet south of this location, and feel that it will be used appropriately.  If any residents find that there are new trespassing or “indecent” issues, we will continue to advise them to call the Oakland C0unty Sheriff’s Office and the Paint Creek Trail Office so it can be addressed.  We have a local ordinance in Rochester Hills prohibiting trail users from trespassing onto adjacent lands.  The Sheriff’s Office can write tickets to anyone caught trespassing.

Are you building a nature center? No.  We are not building any structural buildings.  We have no plans to build a nature center.

How will enormous utility trucks have access to the power lines and equipment if you install benches, trash cans, gardens, etc., in their right-of-way? Will their trucks destroy the asphalt? We will not be installing anything in utility right-of-ways.  All improvements will be done on Paint Creek Trailways Commission right-of-way.  Utility trucks can still access power lines and equipment.  Their trucks can continue driving in the grass.  If need be, they can drive over the crushed asphalt surface, and it will not damage it.

I’m worried the benches will encourage people to linger around our condos and create noise all hours of the night. The benches will be provided for those who wish to use them to rest while on the trail during open times.  We have over 23 benches along the 8.9 miles of trail, and have not had any complaints about people “lingering” or creating noise all hours of the night.  The trail is closed from 10 pm to 6 am every day.  If someone is on the trail during that timeframe creating noise, or doing something illegal, we recommend that you call the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and make a report.

Will you be removing the trees between this path and our condos? No.  The tree line will remain untouched, and will continue to provide screening from the Paint Creek Trail.

I have more questions. Who do I contact? You can contact Trail Manager Kristen Myers at manager@paintcreektrail.org.

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