Lexington can celebrate the good news that funding is now in place for a piece of the linear puzzle that will connect the Legacy and Town Branch trails.
The project will make our downtown a safer, more welcoming place for people to walk, run and cycle to meet their basic transportation needs, as well as for recreation.
Monday, city and state officials announced a $3.2 million federal transportation grant to design and build a 12-foot-wide trail, traffic lanes and curbs along the half mile of Midland Avenue between Main and Third streets.
This will be the first link in the Town Branch Commons, the linear park proposed through the heart of Lexington's downtown from the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden at Third and Midland — the trailhead for the Legacy Trail — to meet with the Town Branch Trail at the Cox Street parking lot behind Rupp Arena.
This is an ambitious project following the historic path of Town Branch, the now-buried stream along which early Lexington developed.
Ultimately, the plan provides for a series of places where the water is returned to the surface in parks along the path.
The city was not successful in its application for a $13 million federal grant to help fund the basic infrastructure for the Commons but plans to try again next year and pursue other funding sources, including private donations and grants.
It is tempting to become both impatient and cynical waiting for the green spine that's promised where now we see pavement and cars rocketing through downtown at high speed.
But this is a long game plan, one that, through the diligent efforts of many in the public and private sectors, has created the trails we now enjoy.
Let's celebrate this important step.