Town Branch may one day resurface

Town Branch may one day resurface

October 10, 2012 

It's good to see Lexington take a step toward one of the goals set out in last year's Downtown Arts & Entertainment District master plan.

Urban designers are being asked for ideas for a "visionary public space network called the Town Branch Commons" that would wind through downtown. After a good bit of promised public input, a plan should be ready in the spring.

The commons would run along the path of the stream that shaped Lexington but that has been confined in culverts and buried for most of the past century.

Town Branch emerges from underground just west of Rupp Arena and ripples past 19th-century infrastructure, farmland and subdivisions before flowing into the South Elkhorn.

A walking and biking trail that has been started along Town Branch could eventually stretch eight miles from downtown to Masterson Station Park, adding greatly to Lexington's quality of life and recreation opportunities.

Whether or not the buried part of Town Branch ever sees the light of day, a linear commons would enhance downtown.

With so many good ideas and master plans gathering dust on shelves, it's encouraging that this one seems to have some life to it.

And if Lexington succeeds in cleaning up its streams, as it has been ordered by a federal court to do, the now-polluted Town Branch could be welcomed once again into the center of the city's life.

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