Letter: Council’s reception does not bode well for bikers

Posted 2/25/21

At last week’s Bristol Town Council meeting, the council gave what was described by the Phoenix as “a somewhat reluctant endorsement” to the extension of a bicycle network to the …

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Letter: Council’s reception does not bode well for bikers

Posted

At last week’s Bristol Town Council meeting, the council gave what was described by the Phoenix as “a somewhat reluctant endorsement” to the extension of a bicycle network to the southern end of town. As an avid cyclist and runner, I am 100 percent in favor of the project, but unfortunately I have very little hope that it will come to fruition due to the following factors:

The first reason is objections from abutting property owners along the proposed extension that have the same “not in my backyard” mentality as numerous abutting property owners along the East Bay Bike Path who were vehemently opposed to that project many years ago. While these NIMBY property owners make up a very small majority of the town, they have been quite vocal in their opposition, and it appears they have found a sympathetic ear with the town council.

The next reason is what I see around town at various local grocery stores and restaurants. With just a casual glance at the physical appearance of many town residents who frequent these establishments, it is abundantly clear that physical fitness and exercise are not high priorities for many Bristolians. With the prevalence of many medical conditions directly attributable to lack of exercise, you would think many town residents would welcome an opportunity for more exercise and fitness options, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here in town.

The final reason I feel this project is doomed for failure would be the most important reason, and it’s purely political. The biggest cheerleaders on the council pushing for this project are the liberals, and as we have witnessed since the last election, proposals by the liberals are not looked upon very kindly by the conservatives who hold the power on the council, no matter how noble the cause or the issue.

The good news here is that the extension of the bicycle network proposal is in its infancy, and by the time the project really gets moving, we could very well see the liberals taking control of the council, and the bicycle network project, along with many other liberal proposals and projects could become a reality instead of a dream.

Mike Proto
Bristol

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