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Saturday, February 18, 2012

BIKE TRAILS AREN’T ENOUGH [The Free Weekly, Fayetteville]

From the The Free Weekly
Guest Opinion
Matt Petty
If you appreciate the bike trails in Fayetteville, but you find yourself driving more often than not, you aren’t alone. Unless you live close to a trail and reaching your destination is convenient, it probably makes more sense for you to drive. Riding a bicycle is supposed to be a relaxing, joyous activity, but that ends once you have to leave the trail and ride in traffic.
For casual riders, there are three criteria which a prospective ride must meet before most people will even consider using a bicycle to reach a destination: safety from traffic, general comfort, and a clear route. Trails are fantastic at addressing each of these, but what if a trail won’t take you all the way to your destination? It’s a good question, and it’s not one Fayetteville’s Alternative Transportation Plan answers.
Think to yourself: what route would you ride to get from the Fayetteville High School to Gulley Park on East Township?
If a clear route that connects the trails, avoids the hills, and uses side streets to keep you out of traffic doesn’t immediately come to mind, the prospect of riding can be a little intimidating. That’s a problem.
Bentonville, our neighbor to the north, already has a working system of bicycle routes that makes it easy to travel to and from key locations.
They have the Blue Route, the Pink Route, and Red Route, and half a dozen other named routes with signs that any person on a bicycle can follow.


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