2012-02-09 / Letters to the Editor

Use bike path money to fix up town’s roads

I just have a few comments concerning an article in last week’s Press, “Surveying for bike path begins next week.” Why is it that when the town or a group of folks want to build something like a bike path, which is supposedly going through wetlands, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal? Other than the $20,000 we have to spend to survey it. But when a private property owner wants to expand on their property or make some changes to their landscape, all hell breaks loose and they end up in court fighting for their property rights. Do we actually “own” our land anymore?

So here is my issue with the bike path: Has anyone involved in this process stopped to think about combining their efforts and surveys into a plan that would benefit all of us? I don’t ride a bike so I don’t care too much about my tax dollars going to pay for a small portion of the population exercising.

What I do, and most of us do, is drive a motor vehicle. So survey this – I would like to be able to cross this island from a more commercial and convenient route other than Carr Lane or Narragansett Avenue. My suggestion is that we spend the time and money on – you guessed it – rebuilding Eldred Avenue. Combine that into your bike path and we have success!

There is no reason for Eldred Avenue to have been cut off in the first place, other than for some made up environmental wetlands stuff that doesn’t seem to be an issue for bike paths. If Eldred Avenue were rebuilt to North Main Road and was made wide enough to accommodate cars and bikes, it would be safe. East Shore Road already has a shoulder wide enough to be safe for bike traffic from Eldred Avenue south to the bridge. No cost!

We don’t “need” a bike path, but we do need a safe cross-island road. If we keep sending heavy equipment through East Passage we are going to have to pay to repave and upgrade a neighborhood road to handle the traffic. I bet the folks in East Passage love all the traffic through there. Let’s use common sense and not blow money on satisfying a small portion of the population, many of which will come from off island.

Let’s slow down and look at the big picture. I for one did not vote to allocate funds to survey bike paths. Stop spending money on non-important, non-infrastructure related projects. We don’t have the money for windmills and bike paths!

Paul D. Sprague


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