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Recently Tracy Bunning, of the town council, discussed the possibility of completing the Town-to-Lakes Trail with gravel in order to save money.
This is not a good idea.
Gravel trails are not suitable for most bicyclists … especially if the trail runs downhill for 2 miles.
There would be lots of opportunity for skinned-up body parts and broken limbs. Mountain bikers regularly use gravel trails, but they are meant to be “slightly dangerous and challenging, recreational trails.”
A trail like the proposed Town-to-Lakes Trail is (apparently) meant to connect two urban areas, so it is being conceived as a “transportation route.” Transportation routes should not be “dangerous and challenging.”
To adapt a bicycle to safely travel on gravel, the rider must buy tires more suitable for gravel, ones that are knobby. How many bike riders would be willing to pay for new tires to ride on gravel?
The grant being offered for this trail requires asphalt or concrete. There is a good reason for the requirement. Asphalt and concrete are safest.
Hopefully, Mr. Bunning will dispatch this silly idea and consider what is best for the people who will use the trail instead of how to skimp on safety.