Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 4, 2012

Give our bike trails a try

— In recent weeks, residents of Goshen have had ample opportunity to consider what we value in our community, as reflected in budgetary decision-making. For my part, I’ve been reflecting on the sentiment (such as in an Oct. 28 letter) that bike paths are “feel-good” projects that don’t benefit all citizens, and thus are not a wise use of city expenditures.

While some individuals may choose to not directly use our local trails, my belief is that everyone does benefit by the presence of these trails. Each person who chooses to walk or ride a bike rather than drive a car helps alleviate traffic congestion and lower air pollution, which in turn benefits all citizens. Walkers and bikers who directly utilize the paths improve their health and overall well-being, which benefits not only themselves, but also their families, their employers, and all whom they interact with.

Our bike paths are accessible to most everyone who lives here. They are a free source of recreation for all ages and abilities, including infants in strollers and elderly in wheelchairs.

Unlike automobile transportation, traveling by bike or foot on our local trails allows for informal, friendly exchanges between residents, which strengthen the fabric of our community.

I am grateful for the network of bike trails in Goshen that allow me to travel safely to work and to stores, to jog or walk safely with my family, and to meet and talk with other people along the way. Each new trail created (such as the planned Monroe Street path) expands this wonderful infrastructure. To anyone who has never utilized our local trails, I encourage you to try them and experience first-hand the benefit they are to all of us.

— Amy Thut