To the Editor:
Manchester voters: Article 10 at Town Meeting will help determine the future of multi-use recreational pathways in our town. Our Town Plan states that such paths "should be a high priority" in designing Manchester's future.
A "Yes" vote on Article 10 is a means for moving that priority forward.
A "Yes" vote would direct the Town to explore extending the current recreational path that runs from MEMS to Riley Rink another 1.7 miles to North Road. It would follow an old railroad right-of-way north of Riley Rink and create a 2.25 mile, motorized vehicle-free trail for use by cyclists, walkers, joggers, XC skiers and fitness buffs. The entire pathway would be fully removed from area roadways.
The Manchester 2020 Bike & Destination Task Force, created by Town consensus three years ago to stimulate a safer cycling environment and promote cycling tourism here, whole-heartedly supports Article 10.
Among the many benefits of expanded multi-use trails in town, the health and fitness aspects for all ages are among the most important. With smooth, mostly flat terrain, lined by trees providing shade from summer's heat and valued windbreaks in winter, and crossing a variety of scenic ecosystems, the path will give residents of all ages a "go to" scenic outdoor venue for healthful recreation all year long. It would enhance the quality of life for all of us who live here and would be an important amenity for visitors to our area year-round.
Please join in Voting Yes on Article 10 at Town Meeting so we may pursue fully how best to meet the Town Plan challenge of prioritizing recreational pathways in our Town.
Member, Manchester 2020 Bike Task Force