Bikers vs. Environmentalists

Planners in Montgomery County, MD are nixing a proposed bike path because of its nearness to 'ecologically sensitive parkland'. Bicycle proponents think this argument doesn't hold water. Says one,'they're already running a big highway through there.'

"Many Montgomery parks department officials who act as stewards of that parkland want to protect its flood plains, wetlands and large forests, including habitat for endangered species, Kines said. That means limiting rainwater runoff from pavement, including asphalt bike paths, that can contaminate streams and other habitat.

As a transportation planner, Kines said, he believes it would be "shortsighted" not to build a continuous, off-road bike path along the highway. However, he said, parks officials think improving local roads, such as by widening sidewalks to accommodate bikes, would be sufficient.

"As environmental planners, they're concerned about environmental impacts, not necessarily whether a bike path serves its intended purpose," Kines said.

Bike advocates say riding on a separated parklike trail is far safer than navigating parked cars and driveways on streets."

Full Story: Planners May Alter Highway Bike Path

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