Having recently visited the county as a visitor, it was impossible to not notice the No Bike Path signs. For this bicycle enthusiast, the signs provoked further research.
Bike trails promote recreation and health alongside scenic amenities. They represent a civic resource. Who could be opposed?
Sometimes, bicyclists. That’s who.
A bike path adjoining four-lane Route 211 will expose bicyclists to tailpipe emissions of cars and trucks. Concentrated toxins offset the health benefits for heavy breathing pedalers, particularly when cars are straining on a hill. There is no polite way to say this. Pedaling next to a car going uphill stinks.
There’s a better route.
Seasoned bicyclists like myself understand the benefits of crushed limestone paths along former railroad beds, tow paths, and two-lane country roads with little traffic.
Does your aesthetic county really need more pavement? Crushed limestone is a natural material, inexpensively maintained, and easily leveled. When blacktop or cement buckles by weather, tree roots, or time, it renders the bicyclist vulnerable to tumbles on an unforgiving surface. Resurfacing costs create a continued tax burden. Experienced bicyclists know the hazard will persist as tight municipal budgets search for the funds.
While favoring bike paths, make a wise decision. Your region has no shortage of safe and scenic off-road trails surrounded by fresh air. Enhanced natural surfaces, like crushed limestone, will affordably serve the health and safety of hikers, bikers, and nature likers.
(Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Rider)