Public Hearing for New Bicycle Paths

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

WAYNESBORO, Va --- The idea behind the plan for bike paths in Waynesboro stems from a simple thought.

“In large part, it's to try and create a higher quality of life for our residents and provide them an alternative means of transportation,” said Michael Barnes, director of planning for Waynesboro.

The city of Waynesboro is roughly 7-miles wide, which is a distance easily traveled on the back of a bike. For some, having the trails in place is a matter of common sense.

“More people on bikes, less fuel usage. More people on bikes, less fat people, happy people,” said Gary Burnette, a Waynesboro bicyclist.

When Gary Burnette is not managing the bike department at Rockfish Gap Outfitters, you can find him on his bike. He did not know about the public hearing on the bike plan until the WHSV reporter mentioned it to him. Burnette immediately planned to call all his cycling friends to make sure they go.

“I think everybody should be able to get on a bike, cruise slowly down to the library, get their books, cruise slowly over to the grocery store, get their groceries, go get the kids, ride around, and not use a car.”

That sentiment is shared by many people in Waynesboro. The plan for bike paths has been thought of before said Harry Colman, another cyclist and former member of the city's planning commission.

“What you hear from people is, 'Well, I'd bicycle but, oh, the cars.' You know that their scared. We should have a city where bicyclists aren't scared. Where families can take their kids out riding. Where people can ride to work,” said Colman.

Burnette only needed three seconds to get that exact point across to city council tonight.

“Go man. Do it. Do it. It's the best thing.”

The public hearing on the bike path issue takes place at 7 p.m. Monday night.


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