A BIKE FRIEND
The cover story was a gem [see “Bike to the future,” by Patrick Yeagle, June 3.].
I have been a cycling buff for some time, even commuting to work several times a week. Your story captured the real issues our community has with advancing cycling and an active lifestyle. You can’t imagine the issues I experience on the seven-mile ride from home to office.
My ultimate hope is for our leaders to establish several bike-friendly routes into the downtown. This small step would help educate our citizens and drivers on the ease of living in a bike-friendly community. However, we’re generations from a community like Fort Collins, Colo.
I just read your story about bike trails, but one thing you failed to report on is bike trails to be built to connect some of the outlying cities. Yes, you did mention the Lost Bridge Trail. But I live out in Riverton, and would love to have a nice trail to ride on, rather than using either Old Route 36 or Route 54, both of which I consider too dangerous to use, except in a case of extreme emergency. I no longer have a car, and use a bike to get anywhere I need to in Riverton, but I still have to rely on family or friends to even get to Walmart on Dirksen. Having a trail between Springfield and Riverton would be great, but there was no mention of that even in the planning stages.
It is great that Springfield is seriously looking at making room for safe biking in Springfield. But where are the plans that display bike lanes in downtown Springfield? Those of us who are biking to work have zero access to safe routes through town. Without a commitment to downtown bike paths, the bicycle committee comes up impotent in biking to the future.
GROUND THE KIDS
A recent IT news item told of the wanton destruction of a portion of a local farm due to some 13-year-old youngsters driving their four-wheelers and dune buggies thru the farmer’s fields [see “Few consequences for four-wheeler vandalism,” by Jackson Adams, June 3]. Where is the respect for other peoples’ rights and property? I would hope that the parents of these kids would come down hard on them. While the parents paying for the damages no doubt was appreciated, I wonder if that was enough.
How about making their kids repair, as best can be done, the damage they made? A little hard labor with shovel, rake, etc., might go a long way towards making them think twice before doing such again. If the repair was not fully satisfactory, then have the remainder of what was necessary done by professionals with the cost borne by the parents, perhaps taken out of whatever allowance these kids get.
Then the parents should hide the keys to the vehicles or, better yet, sell or otherwise get rid of them (the vehicles, not the kids!). It’s so sad that a relatively few uncaring and/or selfish people can spoil something for others, just because they can. It’s also sad that authorities do not seem inclined to prosecute such cases. Isn’t trespassing and ruining private property sufficient grounds?