I didn’t get a chance to attend last week’s BOS hearing on the bike trail but I did watch it in its entirety on the internet. It was distressing to hear more than one person state that they didn’t want one penny of their tax money to go towards this project. I don’t understand how so many seemingly intelligent people can be so short-sighted and selfish. I thought the “me” generation was reserved for the 20–somethings.
I heard one opponent of the trail ask for a show of hands to determine the yays and nays, and then exclaimed, “Well that settles it.” I wonder what the outcome would have been if the auditorium had been full of kids.
My kids are both in Rappahannock High School. I taught them both to ride bikes in the parking lot of that school when they were toddlers — the parking lot. How nice it would have been for us and countless other kids learning to ride to have a dedicated serene path to learn.
Why should the families of this county be forced to travel to Front Royal, Warrenton, Culpeper or Luray to enjoy the simple pleasure of teaching kids to ride a bike in a SAFE environment free from traffic? Take a look at what the counties I mentioned have done — they have created beautiful paths where a real sense of community exists. I know because I visit them quite often. I see kids playing, older folks strolling, and parents pushing baby joggers. This project will be good for the county and will attract families with young kids, elderly folks, weekenders and full time residents alike.
Some of the comments I heard and read on social media against this project were said and written by the very same people who have lamented the inability of this county to attract families with small kids because we don’t have any attractions or resources.
What are we (or the real estate agents) supposed to tell prospective residents with young kids when they ask if there are any recreational parks or trails to enjoy? “Oh we’re against that type of thing here, you’ll need to go to Front Royal, Warrenton, Luray, Culpeper or drive to Shenandoah and pay $30 for that.”
This project is an investment in our county and the children that live in it and hopefully they’ll want to stay here.
I challenge the naysayers of this project to redirect your efforts, look past your unfounded fears of higher taxes and embrace this idea. Volunteer your time, energy and resources to the furtherance of this project instead of displaying negative signs, slinging insults and worrying about a few dollars. Help leave a legacy for the kids of this county. The old saying goes “You can’t take it with you” and if you won’t go all in for this project, hopefully you’ll leave it to a child or grandchild who is a little more forward thinking than you were.
Lastly, I urge you to stop the personal attacks on Jane Whitfield. She has essentially been called a liar by a member of the supervisory board and others in this community. It is disrespectful, rude, boorish and ungentlemanly and uncalled for. She is doing her best to enhance this community for all of us. And whether the project passes or not, her efforts should be applauded.