MODESTO — Editor's note: Every month, we give our visiting editors the opportunity to write a small editorial on a subject of their choice. It is an optional part of their three-month experience on our editorial board.
The Virginia Corridor trail that runs through the center of Modesto has been a great addition to our community. On any given day you can find countless people walking, jogging or riding their bikes along the trail, and you can see why. The trail is kept clean, it's well-landscaped and, outside of one recent incident, is a safe place to be. If it continues to be developed along the old Tidewater Southern Railway line, it could connect the far north of Modesto to downtown.
If the Virginia Corridor trail does continue north, it will run into another trail, a trail that is forgotten by most of Modesto: the Hetch Hetchy Trail. The Hetch Hetchy Trail runs east-west south of Standiford Avenue to the west of Shawnee Drive, where it crosses and continues on the north side of Standiford Avenue to the east.
For those who have not spent time on the Hetch Hetchy Trail, it is nowhere close to the standard the Virginia Corridor trail sets. It is littered with piles of garbage, shopping carts and broken glass. The landscaping is made of sparse trees and weedlike grass.
Worst of all, it is not safe. Setting foot on the trail after dark is not something I would recommend.
Despite all of this, there is great potential for the trail. With a little bit of landscaping, more lighting and a lot of community pride, the trail could become a great part of this city.
As someone who lives along the Hetch Hetchy Trail, I am going to start taking pride in it and see what I can do to help make it great. I hope others who call it part of their neighborhood join me as well.
Riddle, of Modesto, is a senior analyst at MCOL, a publisher of health care business information.