Walking up the BPA road off Leslie at the Richland sign South of Rachel is an instructive experience. If you walk up this road and look north toward Rachel, you will see some pooling areas that are integral to the Amon Creek Preserve ecosystem, and which would be cut off by building a road at Rachel.
If the hypothetical road connecting Leslie and Steptoe were to start at the BPA road (which is already wide, graded and easily paved), there is certainly a great deal less impact on the Preserve.
However, this being said, if one were to look up the definition of "redundant" in the dictionary, there ought to be a picture of any road through this area. Connectivity without the new road is exceptionally good, with connections over Steptoe and through the Meadowbrook Heights neighborhood onto Bellerive and thence Gage Boulevard.
Everybody with any interest should take a walk up the BPA road and look to the north toward Rachel to see the cost of cutting off the riparian habitats now contiguous with the preserve. Follow the trail onward to see the easy, minimally disturbing, straight shot to Beer Falls and the new development.
John F. Williford, Richland