Event To Support Improved Walkability Held In Staunton

STAUNTON, Va. - In downtown Staunton, right behind the farmers market, people like Eric Laser are gearing up.

He bikes around the city and admits that Staunton is not the most walk or bike-friendly city.

"In the city there's some work to be done," says Laser.

Saturday, groups of people walked, ran, and biked over three miles to demonstrate support for walking trails and bike paths in the city.

Staunton City Council Candidate, Sean Harvey, organized the event, and says that studies have shown that greenways can improve the economy of the city.

"Every dollar the city invested in greenway development, returned 10 dollars to the local economy. Greenway bike paths, they increase people's ability to travel around town without having to get into a car," Harvey says, "that increases foot traffic to businesses, that even increases property values and all of those are good things."

Childhood obesity is an ongoing issue and 13-year-old McKenna Grantier says she thinks that more walkways and bike paths would help more people her age be healthier.

"If they do stuff that they believe in like walking and running and biking then they will stay healthy and they will stay fit and eventually other people might join in that too," says Grantier.

Harvey estimates that it will cost almost three million dollars over 10 years to make these greenways happen.

There's an online petition to help make Gypsy Hill Park more bike and walk-friendly. You can visit the site at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/933/032/844/close-gypsy-hill-park-to-motor-vehicles-at-specific-times-each-week/?cid=FB_TAF

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