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Letter to the editor: Better walk/bike connectivity needed

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Letter to the editor: Higher stroll/bike connectivity wanted


It’s nice to examine metropolis and county plans for enlargement and new enterprise alternative. When you have lived right here when you can checklist many new issues which have come to The Hill through the years. Caesar Stone, McAllister Elementary, Francis Meeks, and many others. Now, we could have a brand new hospital within the metropolis, the county bought the ole’ fishermans co-op, and now we have had a brand new highschool within the works for some time. It’s nice to see continued progress, particularly these funded by SPLOST.

Final week, I used to be driving to Sterling Creek Park to attend a coaching occasion for my daughter’s cross nation workforce. It was obvious RH Excessive had simply adjourned as there have been many children strolling and biking from the college to their residence. There have been just a few children making an attempt to stroll throughout the bridge over Sterling Creek whereas many automobiles have been additionally making an attempt to cross the bridge. I would encourage any of you studying to try to stroll or bike throughout that bridge on the similar hour. It’s NOT secure. There isn’t any room for 2 automobiles and a pedestrian to cross – safely. I watched as automobiles continued to journey at their similar fee of pace whereas kids have been making an attempt to stroll throughout the bridge to get residence. I used to be not shocked that there have been so many automobiles not stopping to let the youngsters cross the bridge as I see many egocentric acts by motor automobiles on my weekly bike rides. I ended, and although I heard just a few horns blaring behind me, a younger man graciously waved as he briskly walked throughout the bridge. I smiled and waved again, hoping he could be higher revered in his travels the following day. I couldn’t assist however suppose he might not have assets for a automobile or have the time to take a seat on a bus. The town and county should do higher!

It is extremely clear to me and plenty of others in my circle that metropolis and county leaders aren’t as involved with connectivity as they’re with progress. For my part, the 2 aren’t mutually unique.

You shouldn’t be allowed any progress with out means to connect with it by means aside from by motorized vehicle. I like progress. Development brings new tax income from enterprise to assist gasoline assets like trainer salaries, fireplace fighters, and cops. Development with out plans for connectivity is the results of what now we have at the moment that are few choices or incomplete choices to maneuver folks as a substitute of simply motor automobiles. The sort of progress is irresponsible. Should you go searching, there are numerous examples of half baked plans to maneuver folks somewhat than simply automobiles. We have now a really huge Ford Avenue with a sidewalk on just one facet of the road for pedestrian functions.

That very same Ford Avenue has loads of room for a 3 foot striped bike lane the place people might journey to native companies, neighborhoods, and JF Gregory Park.

There may be much more room to created a completely protected pathway for walkers, joggers, and many others. Talking of JF Gregory, there’s not one security crosswalk to entry it. One ought to be capable to push a button on pole that brightly lights as much as permit people to stroll or bike to the park. We have now a really huge Harris Path the place sidewalks are solely on one facet. Should you reside in Piercefield, there is just one place one can safely try to cross Harris Path to get to the RH Excessive and it’s essential journey via grass or unprotected road to get to it. Talking of Harris Path, we even have a lane to trip a motorbike in, nonetheless, you need to trip on a really slender and crumbling portion of Harris Path or Belfast Keller to get to it.

Although many I do know are grateful to Mr. Infinger and the county for the small portion of lane now we have, we’re unaware of any plans to increase it within the close to future. One other instance is the Dunham Marsh group and the Richmond Hill Center Faculty. This must be a straightforward bike or stroll to highschool, but there’s not a peep about connecting the 2, nor any point out of a plan or any proof of building within the works.

One would suppose that with a brand new college already open, there would even have been lively options put in place for accessibility by means aside from motor automobiles.

Nope! One other instance is Buckhead east and McAllister Elementary. Should you reside in BH East, you possibly can simply entry the college by way of stroll or bike. That is nice!

Should you reside in Buckhead North, you might be prone to get flattened by a motorized vehicle if you wish to stroll or bike to highschool. Good luck in using a motorbike via that makeshift roundabout. I’ve come near being a hood decoration many occasions as a result of it’s so poorly designed people touring from the county don’t even should decelerate. I understand that is momentary, however it’s too harmful. Should you take a drive on Harris Path you will note a brand new highway being constructed to the brand new highschool campus, which I additionally imagine will entry RH Center Faculty. Absolutely our elected leaders have already deliberate for a path on either side of the highway with just a few extremely seen cross walks. I imagine there are plans for just a few neighborhoods on that very same highway. Are there plans for connectivity? Is the county planning on extending the bike lanes or making a multi function path to Timber Path? Can one safely stroll or bike to the brand new college from Creekside or different neighborhoods? Will future college students be confronted with the identical harmful route that these kids I noticed just a few weeks in the past? Bussing shouldn’t be the reply because it provides value to the taxpayer. Bussing shouldn’t be handy for many college students. I don’t know many individuals who actually take pleasure in an hour commute from work to residence. I can think about our college students don’t look after it both. We should do higher!

I’m taking a look at a map of the plans of the 144 venture. It’s thrilling to see house drawn on it for a motorbike lane on either side. I’ve to see it to imagine it however my hopes are excessive that it involves fruition. It’s good to see an precise sidewalk being prolonged out to the county on one facet. Will there be one on the opposite facet? I see it on that map however should see it to imagine it. Guess what, these lanes and sidewalks cease if you get to Parkers. From there, it’s essential cross a significant highway to get into city or stroll within the grass on the opposite facet. That is unacceptable!

What are town of Richmond Hills plans to increase both? That is one other instance of a blended bag of joint grasp planning and it must cease.

It’s time our metropolis and county leaders step up and develop into extremely dedicated to shifting folks as a substitute of simply automobiles. Any plans for progress MUST embody connectivity for folks, not simply automobiles. Don’t simply purchase land to develop.

Develop a plan to attach folks to that endeavor.

Any future metropolis or county buy plan must be an all inclusive connectivity bundle introduced to the taxpayers for vote. I actually respect and admire our metropolis and county leaders however it’s essential determine these things out and FAST. You must create and implement a plan to maneuver folks. This consists of multi use pathways, bicycle lanes and path techniques that join taxpayers to procuring, parks, faculties, and eating places.

“However John, these stuff you communicate of value cash” They do. So do college busses, land for progress functions, healthcare, and tax breaks for brand new enterprise endeavors. Let me present some statistics that provide help to perceive the return on funding town and county can achieve with elevated infrastructure for shifting folks. In a current research on Individuals For Bikes web site titled “Bicycling offers $137 million in financial advantages to Northwest Arkansas” March 29, 2018, outside exercise on multi use trails, paved bicycle lanes, and mountain biking is a large enhance to tourism. “However John, Arkansas is way away” The Outer Banks is near residence. Do you know that the area has loved a return of 9 occasions that of their funding in multi use paths for pedestrians and bicycle lanes? They spent an preliminary $6.7 million to maneuver folks. They take pleasure in $60 million in financial profit yearly from that preliminary funding. This may be discovered on their report titled “Pathways to Prosperity” Need extra data? www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle/security/ safety_economicimpact.html. Additionally on the Individuals For Bikes web site you will discover research on individuals who store by bicycle. Do you know that individuals who store by bicycle spend 29% extra over the course of the week than those that store by automobile? They store extra typically! Are you able to think about the standard of life advantages available with extra folks getting exterior? Air high quality? Exhausting to argue with any of it.

The purpose I hope to make with native elected officers is that it’s essential have a greater plan to attach folks if you make selections to purchase land or construct. Connecting space points of interest and facilities by means aside from a automobile and WILL reap rewards of elevated tax revenues, new enterprise funding, and more healthy way of life selections. The town and county should do higher.

It’s time all of us maintain them accountable to make good selections to attach and transfer folks somewhat than simply automobiles in the case of any buy. We will not suppose {that a} bus or a automobile is the one possibility in Richmond Hill and Bryan County to get round. I personally volunteer my time on any metropolis or county committee accessible for the aim of offering higher means to get across the Hill. Lets roll up our sleeves and work collectively on rising entry for the taxpayer and our friends and reap the advantages of a greater linked group.

John Cameron, Richmond Hill


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