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Consider the bikers

As people in Grand Falls-Windsor are becoming more physically fit and eco-friendly the concept of biking as a source of transportation is becoming more popular.

Samantha Gardiner/The Advertiser
Jason Barton and Desmond Kenny (left) cross Scott Avenue to get to a safe trail system.

The town council has discussed a plan to identity biking routes throughout the town. This will provide safe routes for bikers to all major centers in town.

Councilor Darren Finn stated at a town council meeting on Sept. 8, that he doesn’t believe, “there’s a great need or demand for bike routes in Grand Falls-Windsor.”

Mayor Al Hawkins disagreed noting that “there is a growing interest as more people get physical, there are more and more people that are getting into biking.”

Hawkins also noted that “as a growing community I think [a bike route] is something that there is a discussion for.”

Jason Barton, owner of FUNdamentals Fitness and health and fitness advocate agrees that there are a lot more people in Grand Falls-Windsor taking their health more seriously of late.

Barton said that he would, “love to see a paved trail system” in Grand Falls-Windsor.

In other places in Canada they have big trail systems for bikers which is “why a larger percentage of the population is healthier,” Barton added.

Finn said in a council meeting that there are “a lot more asphalt demands under the four rubber tires of cars and the motorcycles,” noting he doesn’t see the value in adding a bike lane to the list of demands.

“The roads are dominated by motorized vehicles, and I’d love nothing more than to see a better system that would allow people to get out more,” Barton said.

The local demand presently is for a bike lane that leads safely to the trail system.

“If a family wanted to go get on a bike and go somewhere it’s a hard thing to think of where to go. From my house to a trail there’s a gap there and you really have to consider the dangers of it,” Barton continued. “It would be a lot nicer situation if we didn’t have to think that way - if there was connections in logical places where you could get onto a trail pretty quickly.”

Not only individuals and families need a safe route but also school children that go to after school bike clubs who need to figure out how they are going to get to the trail from the school.

Barton said currently they end up riding on the sidewalk to get safely to a trai

“We don’t like to encourage kids to ride on the sidewalks because that’s for people walking [but] then your choice is the roads and the roads are treacherous here, speaking [as] a citizen who likes to use his vehicle as little as possible.”

Town council recommended has referred the matter to the Public Works and Planning Committee for discussion at a later date.

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