Check it out: Today’s Weekend Gazette features a full page (A7) of letters to
the Editor and a guest Column in support of our communities improvements to the
bike trail network. These letters are written in response to recent weeks of
letters to the Editor criticizing the construction the new bike bridge over
Route 10. Thank you to the people who wrote letters! If you support the
trails, it is important to take the time to write to your local newspapers and
explain why you support these improvements to our community.
You might want to know that our community was ready:
The bridge and the new trail improvements were made possible because of your
civic support of bike trails and the hard work of our city planner, Wayne
Fieden, and new Federal stimulus dollars. Northampton had in place a long range
plan for developing a trail network throughout our city. With your help,
Northampton Trails and Greenways over the past five years helped fund the design
work (blue prints) needed before these plans could be submitted for funding, a
process that typically takes years. When federal stimulus dollars became
available for “shovel ready” projects, Northampton was able to JUMP because we
had completed plans, and thus our projects received funding. This bridge not
only improved our community but it help get people back to work.
Having a trail network in our community that links to places we want to travel
to is a benefit for us all.
– Safe paths encourage more people to choose walking and biking over driving
– Children walking and biking to safely school develop healthy, life long habits
of exercising. Kids who exercise daily concentrate better at school.
– Beautiful trails improve the quality of life in our community, and a high
quality of life attracts employers and jobs to our community
– Biking and walking improves our health, and a healthier community saves money
– Moving people from car to biking and walking improves our planet’s health
Why do you support the new trail development in Northampton? Do you have a
personal story or point of view that you are willing to voice in your community
newspaper? This beautiful weekend, would you please enjoy the trails, and then
take a minute to write and add your vote of support for our trails? Letters to
the Editor of the Daily Hampshire Gazzette can be submitted to:
P.S. One letter in opposition wrote that the “Big Bridge is the Valley’s ‘Big
Dig'”: Just to put that into perspective, you might interested to know that the
total pricetag for the Big Dig in Boston was $14.6 billion. This project
stretched 3.5 miles, which works out to $4.171 billion per mile, or slightly
less than a million dollars ($790,000) per foot. The bridge over route 10 is
part of the new 2.7 mile long cycling and walking route that connects
Northampton and Easthampton as part of a $3.8 million project and the bridge
cost nearly half of it. For me, this is a wise investment in our future.