West Chester residents and businesses need and want multipurpose paths. As trustee, I will work to address this need in a fiscally responsible manner rather than finding excuses for inaction.
As I’ve gone door to door, one of the most common complaints I’ve heard from West Chester residents is about our lack of bike paths and sidewalks. Neighboring cities and townships have been building up these alternative transportation options over the past several years, and are seeing the benefits of more connected neighborhoods and businesses, eased traffic, and healthier commuting options. Our community, however, has been left behind. In West Chester, walking paths end at subdivision boundaries; businesses are isolated to their parking lots; children face dangerous walks to school; and runners and cyclists are confined to tiny bike lanes or risky shoulders.
The Board of Trustees has been aware of this issue for well over a decade. However, it has failed to take action, citing the potential cost and other difficulties associated with it. These are valid concerns, but have been seen as excuses for inaction rather than challenges to overcome. I see things a little differently.
Over much of 2018, I worked with a committee of local leaders and experts to come up with a concrete framework for building bike paths in West Chester. We met with interested parties, coordinated available grant money, consulted the law, met with engineers, and learned exactly what it would take to get this done. By the end of the year, we had a plan that would fit with West Chester’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while providing this much-needed service to our residents. I duly submitted the plan to the Board of Trustees–and, after being given a couple of offhand excuses, I was told no.
West Chester residents and businesses need and want multipurpose paths. As trustee, I will bring real, responsible solutions to address this issue.