Four-lane highway, but no bike path

It was with amusement that I read Demaris Miller’s letter to the editor that declared that Rappahannock’s proposed bike trail would attract rapists, pedophiles and encourage “tragic incidents.”

I’m not sure if this represents hyperbole, fear mongering or just plain chicken little-ism — maybe all of the above. In that most of the money for this trail would come from the current federal transportation funds, a small percentage of these funds are dedicated to non-motorized use, i.e. bike and pedestrian trails. In other words this money is already set aside, it’s just a question of whether we as a county get our share or not.

Several years ago I joined a small group of people who rode from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. on (gasp) a bike trail. We didn’t encounter one pedophile, rapist or “tragic incident.” We also didn’t see one radio control panic box or motorized patrol. I think there might have been lighting in Pittsburgh, as you might expect.

What we did see were communities that had benefited from a non-polluting tourist industry that supported small family-owned bike shops, restaurants and lodging. The once polluted Youghiogheny River is now open to boating, swimming and fishing. This is all good stuff. I thought tourism was something to be promoted.

We live in a county that has a four-lane highway running right down the middle of it, complete with dump trucks and tractor trailers, yet a family riding on a four foot wide path is a threat to our ‘relaxed rural place’? Your logic eludes me yet again. Instead of rapists and pedophiles a very real threat to our children is spending their childhood and adolescence glued to their cellphones.

Come on Demaris, take a break from Rappnet, go for a jog or play golf. It’s fun! You’ll feel better!

Mark Ramey

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