Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

February 28, 2013

WHO WE ARE: Bicycle paths have a way of linking the community together

(Continued)

GOSHEN —

More trails

There’s also the Center City Trail — two miles of brick-edged sidewalk linking Goshen College, the Goshen Public Library, Goshen High School, the Elkhart County Courthouse and downtown. The Winona Inter-Urban Trail — a one-mile paved trail — also connects Goshen College with the Greencroft Retirement Center, Bethany Christian High School and Waterford Elementary School.

Kauffman said now that he’s retired he walks everywhere, he and his wife take an exercise walk from West Goshen down to the Millrace Trail using the pedestrian bridge at Shanklin Park. Kauffman is an annual supporter of the Pumpkinvine Trail and is also involved with the Maple City Marathon.

Former Goshen Mayor Mike Puro was an early pioneer of bike trails in Goshen when he requested federal funds to develop trails back in the 1980s. Goshen’s John Yoder has been another key figure in making the trails what they have become.

Their efforts, also with those of Mayor Allan Kauffman’s administration, helped lead to Goshen being designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists for its commitment to promoting bicycling.

The designation places Goshen among 190 communities in 46 states (five in Indiana) for its ability in providing safe accommodation for cycling and for encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation, according to information from the Goshen mayor’s office.

Good for business

Another resident who feels the bike trails are a big benefit is Jesse Bontrager, a Goshen College graduate and employee at Lincoln Avenue Cycling and Fitness. Bontrager is originally from Oregon — “a very bike friendly area,” he said.

“It’s great,” he said, “to see the biking culture take off here with the trails.”

He said the development of the trails has been great for business, too.

“We’re a very family-oriented shop and trails like Pumpkinvine are very family oriented,” he said.

While Lincoln Avenue Cycling and Fitness appeals to all types of bicyclists, its general clientele are families looking for hybrid style bikes — in between mountain bikes and road bikes, able to handle the 10 to 15 miles of the Pumpkinvine just fine, according to Bontrager.

He said he’s started to mention the Pumpkinvine and other trails while advising customers and said, “You can tell that’s what they want.”

Bontrager graduated from Goshen College two years ago and said he didn’t get a chance to use the longer trails but often used the Millrace Trail linking the college to downtown. Bontrager said he feels that biking has picked up in the short time he’s been in the area and he credits the trails as a big reason for making Goshen a more bike-friendly town.

“The awareness of biking has grown,” he said.

More trails are planned for the future and to that, Ned Kauffman says, “More power to them.”

Inside today's paper

Each year in February The Goshen News publishes a special progress edition. This year’s edition is inserted in The Goshen News today.

The theme of this year’s progress edition, as it has been the past couple years, is “Who We Are.” It includes articles and profiles we feel capture the spirit of who we are as a community.

 — Editor

 

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