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Letter: Support formation of bike, pedestrian committee

Salisbury has the potential to really be a unique town that focuses on citizens and the health of the community.

Given our size and downtown layout, there is much opportunity to promote cycling and walking over car traffic. Many of the most progressive and healthy cities in the nation and world have prioritized active transportation to the benefit of their citizens.

The economic value includes attracting young families to call Salisbury home; luring visitors to linger on safer streets and explore our many attractions with ease; and allowing businesses to realize more revenue, as navigating city streets becomes a less stressful, quieter experience that encourages shoppers and diners to take extra time.

Beyond the economics, promoting active transportation fosters a deeper sense of community and connectedness. Outside the bubble of the car, people have a chance to truly see and feel their surroundings and are less prone to negative interactions and aggressive behaviors with others.

As one of the top areas in the nation for poor air quality, Rowan County would benefit from limiting the amount of traffic that travels through some of our most congested areas, including downtown.

Salisbury was smart to develop a bike plan a decade ago. While some components were implemented successfully, some don’t truly address the issues that face most who bike and walk for transportation, and others were shelved completely. With the mayor’s blessing, I ask that the community supports the formation of a bicycling and pedestrian focused committee or expansion of the current greenway committee.

Bringing actual commuters and cyclists into the conversation will allow the city to make informed decisions that have the most impact.

It will also help continue to highlight the need for promoting and developing active transportation options, including expanded greenways, bike paths, signage, bike parking and other infrastructure.

This committee can also help establish effective educational methods to keep cyclists and drivers safe and coexistent. For those who support the idea of a healthier, greener and more community oriented Salisbury, please consider attending the City Council meeting on Tuesday to discuss and promote a bicycling/pedestrian advisory committee.

— Mary Rosser

Salisbury

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