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Greenway Mess Pits City Against Residents

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RALEIGH, N.C. — There's a path in Raleigh, near Leadmine Road, that people use all the time for walking and riding bikes.

The path looks a lot different today than it did a week ago.

"Well, I think they made a big mess," said Ken Wesson, whose deck overlooks the path. "It was a beautiful nature trail."

It was lined with beautiful trees, some of which are now being grinded to dust.

"It's kind of like taking a country road," said resident Kathy Huckabee, "a small, quaint country road, and putting in a four-lane highway."

Sewer pipes straddle the creek and run under the trail. The city says it cleared the path because tree roots were interfering with the pipes and at times backing up the system.

"This was the solution to that," Wesson said. "To just come through and chop everything down."

The city said the trees shouldn't have been there in the first place and that it's obligated to maintain the sewer system.

"That seems like overkill for doing what they needed to do," Huckabee said.

Residents counter that, even though it is just a little path, it's not just the path they are concerned about -- it's the principle.

"If we allow these things to happen on a small scale," Huckabee said, "what are we going to allow to happen on a larger scale?"

The city says it does plan to restore the path. It may not look like it was, but it will be neatened, seeded and mulched.

"You know, we're either going to protect this city that we love," Huckabee said, "or we're going to allow things like this to happen and gradually lose the real flavor of what Raleigh's all about."


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