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Peace at Mankato park: deal keeps dogs, bikes apart

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A feud between dog walkers and cyclists who use a park in Mankato has been resolved the way siblings who share a bedroom might do it. They basically drew a line through the middle of the park, and each will keep to their own side.

The Mankato City Council approved a plan Monday night to bring peace between the two groups who regularly use the city's Kiwanis Recreation Area, the Mankato Free Press reports.

Dog owners became upset when mountain bike trails were built in the park, and there's been tension between the two groups for months. Leaders of both groups met in January with Parks Superintendent Mark McQuillan to come up with a compromise plan.

They agreed to keep their distance in the 100-acre park, which is located on Mankato's north side, between Highway 169 and the Minnesota River.

In general, dogs leashed and unleashed, will be allowed in the north side of the park. Bikers will use the trails on the south side of the park, and both will share the paved trail which runs south and east from the parking lot, according to the Free Press. Take a look at a map of the park as it's currently configured.

Dog and bike people both attended Monday's council meeting, and most of them seemed happy with the compromise, the newspaper reports.

Biker Greg Lessard suggested the entire situation could be resolved with one simple rule.

"Start being nice to each and showing proper etiquette," he said.

But in the end, most agreed that that it's wiser to keep the dog people and the bicycle people a bit farther apart from each other.

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