Bike Path Musings: Bike Path Related Issues Check This Index
We can go to the end of our street, take a ramp up to Fort Wayneís Rivergreenway that follows the Maumee River to New Haven, or go the other way to downtown. Getting from our house to the ramp takes 3 to 5 minutes. Iíve always considered being so close a real plus. In the early evening, Iím often struck by the landscapeís natural beauty enhanced by the setting sun which you can see in some of my posted pictures.
Having looked on the net for photos of bike paths here and in other areas, Iíve found theyíre not plentiful. Iím not sure why. Bike paths appear to be listed on municipal websites created by people who donít realize one of the best ways to promote what they have is with attractive photos. Personally, Iíd be more likely to visit a greenway after seeing exceptional photos that inspire me to ďwantĒ to go there.
Itís easy to assume beautiful scenery is somewhere other than where you live. But in Fort Wayne, you can visit the Rivergreenway. However, the most attractive part, in my biased opinion, is the stretch between downtown Fort Wayne and New Haven, along the Maumee River. On the other hand, if youíre looking for stretches with little or no protection from the
sun, youíll have no problem finding that on associated trails in the area.
While I do see some people on the path during warm weekends, I still tend to think of it as my private domain. Compared to the population of our city, few go there. I have mixed feelings about this subject because ďifĒ these trails ever see heavy use, I will probably avoid them.
Like museums, bike paths seem to be for a few faithful devotees. Most people would rather do something else with their time. Bike paths are more about politics than about providing a resource the public is clamoring for. Our ancient sidewalks have NOT been teaming with crowds of walkers, joggers, cyclists during the 30+ years Iíve lived here.
----Update ( November 29, 2012)
This website was up for several years before I realized recently what bike paths are really all about. While getting exercise is certainly good for your health, weíve had sidewalks and bicycles for many years, and their existence has not encouraged people to go out and
walk, run, or bike. Most people would rather do other things with their time.
In the back of my mind, I have always wondered:
1.) Why would anyone go to the expense of constructing miles and miles of paved bike trails that few people care about or use? The fact is that many years after these trails have been in place, only a tiny fraction of the local population goes there. Even though the city department that oversees bike paths has placed counters on the trails, there is no way to know for sure how many people are counted 2, 3, 4 or more times. Then, too, I wonder if the counters are near high traffic locations where people enter and exit but donít go much further than 100 yards? I donít know for sure. But, I did ask a person in charge, and got no answer. How would you read that?
2.) Another issue that seems unrelated to bike paths (but may actually be a part of the equation) is the constant discussion about the importance of revitalizing the old downtown center of the city. This discussion goes on in other cities nationwide, but Iíve always wondered why. Whatís so important about bringing vast numbers of people into a crowded central location? Think about that. Why did society migrate to the suburbs years ago? One reason was to escape overcrowding. People wanted space to live and breath and enjoy nature. They also wanted to escape negative societal influences that were too close by.
Youíll find some answers in a fascinating book: Down the Asphalt Path - The Automobile and the American City by Clay McShane. I strongly recommend this book.
American society has become what it is because of our belief in personal freedoms and the free enterprise system. Recently Iíve come across lots of information about Agenda 21 which explains Fort Wayneís desire to revitalize the downtown and build bike trails.
Did you know that Fort Wayne is on a list of member cities belonging to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives ( ICLEI )? You can learn more about the convoluted involvement between Environmental Initiatives, Agenda 21, and local cities by doing some study yourself. But of course, it all depends on who you listen to. When a group wants to promote an unpopular issue or an issue that few care about, they address topics that sound caring and meaningful and avoid talking specifically about what they really want to achieve. Why should Fort Wayne want bike paths? For exercise, they tell us. And who wants to argue against exercise when our state and country has a problem with obesity. (of course few people seem to realize that the root cause of obesity is an emotional issue.)
Some people claim that fears about Agenda 21 are alarmist and overblown. Of course labeling someone as an alarmist is a tactic to deflect attention from the truth. Hereís a story about how Agenda 21 will morph into something more powerful called the International Covenant on Environment and Development.
Hereís a good video about Agenda 21.
DEMOCRATS AGAINST U. N. AGENDA 21
Iíll be posting new information and photos from time to time, so I hope youíll look at the topic index and come back later.
Steve DeSanto - Fort Wayne, Indiana ( Email me with your comments)
< Back to Homepage