Editor, Times-Union:
The facility being built on McKinley Street in Warsaw is nothing more than a picnic shelter.  And there are no sidewalks on McKinley Street, nor is the facility on a trail.
This is disappointing to people like myself, who ride a bicycle through Warsaw and Winona Lake frequently.  The Chinworth bridge area is also deemed a trailhead, but affords no modern restrooms.
A trailhead, as seen on most trails, has enclosed, ADA compliant restrooms, water fountains, bike racks, lighting, sidewalks and parking for cars.  This enables trail users, including mothers with small children, to utilize trails more readily.
The group I founded, Friends of Eel River Trail, built a trailhead in Columbia City with heated, year-round restrooms with metal, prison-style lavatory facilities that are considered indestructible. We modeled it after the trailheads on the Monon Trail in Indianapolis.
We, in turn, gave our plans for the Columbia City Trailhead (on the Blue River Trail) to the City of Warsaw, and now see that those plans were not utilized.
Since Warsaw is the orthopedic capital of the world, whose industry represents “movement” through joint replacement, one would expect that the orthopedic industry would be heading up a strong effort to make Warsaw a model city with respect to trails because trails encourage walking, running, and bicycling.  What good are the signs on county roads that designate suggested bicycle routes?  Or pouring money into NASCAR.
The trail out past Donnelley’s is not well maintained, nor even swept.  In the winter, it is snow covered and not passable.  Why build a trail if it cannot be maintained for safe enjoyment?
 And the city of Warsaw is not bicycle friendly, in my opinion, despite its designation as such. Cars don’t slow down and go around bicyclists carefully on the streets, they speed up to go around!  If two bicyclists are riding side by side,  fully within the law in Indiana, drivers exhibit road rage if they are held up even less than a minute or so.  When riding single file, it is even more dangerous, because many cars assume they don’t have to move over at all, and speed by dangerously close to bicyclists.
 I would challenge the city to do more for trails.  It is very dangerous, for example, to cross Winona Avenue when headed for the trail in the woods of Winona Lake.  In Fort Wayne, auto traffic has to stop for trail traffic on a street much busier than Winona Avenue. If that can’t be done, then a pedestrian/bicycle bridge is needed to cross Winona Avenue.
Rick Wagner
Pierceton, via email