CV Link and The City Of Rancho Mirage

The entire Rancho Mirage City Council originally endorsed the concept of a walking, jogging and biking trail across the Coachella Valley but today the project is a very different concept. The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) is proposing something far more ambitious. For example, CVAG's CV LINK plan proposes a 20 to 30 foot pathway running across the popular but still bucolic Butler-Abrams Trail (where so many can peacefully walk their dogs), then along parts of Highway 111 in our commercial district. It uses Measure "A" funds (without approval of the electorate) to help pay for CV LINK to accommodate Neighborhood Electric Vehicles ("NEVs"). And, at this time, CVAG does not have a reasonable plan to pay for the development, operations and maintenance of the project at its inception and into the future. The price tag for the project is $100,000,000. They are planning on taking $20M of road maintenance funds, already dedicated, to help pay for their project.

After you watch the 50-minute CV LINK round-table discussion video and read the various editorials and articles collected below we trust you will understand why we encouraged you to vote against CV Link's plan for Rancho Mirage.

Articles, Editorials and Letters to the Editor Discussing the CV LINK Project

The following are excerpts from CL LINK related articles and editorials presented as recommended reading for residents and business owners in Rancho Mirage:

  • I see trouble in the Link - Katherine Fringer, Palm Springs

    Re: "CV Link too intrusive," March 8 letter to the editor by Patricia Gilbert Sherwood

    When I lived in Brasilia, Brazil, the government confiscated half of everyone's back yards in order to build a bike path for "the people." In three years, I never saw anyone biking or otherwise using the path. However, the easy access to my house was used by thieves who broke in from that back path, and stole multiple items, which they put into my car and drove off with. This CV Link painfully reminds me of the Brasilia "link" disaster. Ms. Sherwood's letter brings up a similar scenario for homes here, and I can tell you she is right on.

  • TDS Letters to the Editor - 1/28/16: Politics and CV Link - Brian B Torsney Sr. Palm Desert

    K.J. Parker, in "Devices and Desires," writes "In Politics, it's what isn't said that matters." Rancho Mirage Mayor Dana Hobart has been the only reliable source of information concerning the CV Link. Thank you, Mayor Hobart.

    The Palm Desert representative was quite vocal, at the December executive meeting of CVAG, promising to seek input on the CV Link from all sources. The residents of Palm Desert have not been told how, when, by who, or even if, this input will be collected.

    Since nothing is being said by the Palm Desert representative and/or the other City Council members, the only logical conclusion is that the voters of Palm Desert will be ignored again and the will of the very few will imposed upon the majority. Politics at it best.

  • TDS Letters to the Editor - 1/28/16: Asking Hard Questions - Doni Ellison Hubbard, Rancho Mirage

    "Hobart isn't shy on voicing opinion" was the secondary headline of Sherry Barkas' well-written Feb. 15 story on campaign fairness issues relating to Rancho Mirage CV Link ballot measures. I was glad to read an article on political fairness that was itself fair and presented valuable information.

    I grew up in Palm Springs. The desert was my playground and for most of my adult life I have advocated strongly for recreational trails. Now I can't help but question the intrusion and magnitude of the CV Link Master Plan. A worthy idea in the beginning, CV Link has become so overblown, overpriced and overbearing that you wonder "where is the oversight?"

    Surely there are others besides Mayor Dana Hobart raising key issues such as how can elected representatives and CVAG justify transferring voter approved Measure A Funds intended for road, highway and bridge repairs to CV Link? Shouldn't all elected, responsible decision makers be asking the hard "dollars and cents" and "common sense" questions?

    How refreshing to see an elected official with enough courage to ask unpopular questions, and to stand up for the good of his community and the area. Way to go Mayor Hobart!

  • A Different Path Plan - Kenneth W. Hyams, Cathedral City, The Desert Sun, 12/29/2015

    Excerpt: Attention all those who support the CV Link "road to nowhere" down the wash to the Salton Sea: This proposed road will be fairly useless during our long summer days and absolutely useless at night.

  • Valley Voice: We deserve a vote on CV Link plan - T. Conner, Special to The Desert Sun, 10/16/2015

    Excerpt: Given the huge significance of the CV Link, I strongly believe that the voters of each of the impacted CVAG cities should be given the opportunity to vote for or against key aspects of the project (such as financial commitment, project routing, etc.) as they relate to their respective cities. Hopefully, our Riverside County Board of Supervisors will strongly endorse and solicit such input from our residents (but don't place any bets on this prospect).

  • Letters to the Editor, Desert Sun: Different Names for CV Link - J. Barry, Palm Springs, 10/24/2015

    Excerpt: Before anyone decides if they are for or against the CV LINK, everyone should understand what it actually is. It will not be a simple, little trail gently winding through the valley for idyllic walks and healthful bike rides. The CV LINK will be an extensive, elaborate concrete road, with use by electric wehicles as its primary purpose.

CV Link Roundtable Discussion

On the April 12th election ballot Rancho Mirage Voters will be presented with 4 Ballot Measures in connection with the CV Link project. The first prevents future city councils from allowing small electric vehicles on several designated streets within Rancho Mirage without first going to the voters. The other three measures are advisory and intended to gauge the opinions of residents on certain aspects of the project.

Featuring: Mayor Dana Hobart, Mayor Pro Tem Ted Weill, Director of Administrative Services Isaiah Hagerman, City Manager Randy Bynder and City Attorney Steve Quintanilla


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Valley Voice: CV LINK "breakup" would be better for valley's cities, by Jeri Barry, 07/15/2015

Except for bragging rights, where is the "magic" in creating a continuous CV Link pathway that connects the cities of our valley? How many citizens of Coachella are going to use it to travel to Palm Springs, and vice versa? It seems that the 50-mile concept would primarily benefit a relatively small segment of the resident and visiting population interested in long-distance bicycle riding and hard-core exercise.

Our forward-thinking community leaders are looking to provide an amenity that encourages tourism and exercise, and prepares the valley for expanded use of electric vehicles. But why does it need to link the cities?

Recent controversies have demonstrated that some cities will not accept the imposition of the CV Link onto their already congested roads. For privacy reasons, overlaying the path onto or near already built-out residential areas is also not acceptable to some cities. Some cities feel left out of the project entirely.

As proposed, the CV Link would be mostly atop the levee, which is an easy line to draw on a map and it accomplishes the goal of "linking" cities, but again, for what purpose? Additional money would be needed in the future to extend pathways into our cities to make the CV Link truly relevant.

Effective and well-used pathways deliver people where they NEED and WANT to go — grocery stores, schools, work, restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping and other entities within their own communities. If destinations are worthwhile, more people will be inclined to walk, bike or abandon their car in favor of a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV).

Each city has very different objectives, challenges and budgets. East valley residents need safe routes that deliver adults to work and kids to school. Other cities need connections between hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. Each city should be allowed to create a network of internal paths that will answer its specific goals. Also, cities should only accept pathways they can afford to maintain and secure.

Let's abandon the idea of a single, continuous CV Link needlessly extending down the backbone of the valley in favor of separate "links" in each city. Revise the name of the project to "CV Links" (with an "s") to represent a series of separate inner city "links" that deliver users where they actually want to go.

Where possible, long sections could be included to accommodate those who want to travel farther distances for exercise purposes. If improved health is truly a goal, then shorter, less intimidating, community-driven pathways are much more likely to encourage additional people to get out and to exercise.

CVAG already has a plan that provides options for future NEV routes in the valley. That "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Plan" is on the CVAG website (www.CVAG.org). This report addresses each city in detail and provides a perfect foundation for the creation of individual city "links." The groundwork for CV Links has already been done.

Apparently, the "NEV Plan" is intended for implementation after the CV Link is built. But that's backwards. Why not re-direct the already pledged CV Link funds to individual cities NOW for the development of the NEV Plan and the incorporation of existing city bike and pedestrian trails. THEN, if warranted, link the city links together.

The $75 million in pledged funds would probably go further to re-configure and enhance existing streets and paths than it would cost to build a brand new concrete CV Link roadway on the levee.

Jeri Barry is a resident of Palm Springs.

This letter originally appeared in the Desert Sun 07/15/2015. Letter reprinted with permission from Jeri Barry

CA Entity #: 1382725
Federal Tax Id: 81-1425717
P.O. Box 1844
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Please Re-elect Dana Hobart, Iris Smotrich and Charles Townsend for City Council

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