To The Daily Sun,
I am writing as a WOW Trail supporter, a bicyclist who uses the trail very frequently, and an advocate for its continued use and expansion. I ride the current legs of the WOW Trail and Belmont trail sections on a regular basis during the warmer weather months and find the trails exceptionally safe, clean, and well-maintained. There is now a group titled WOW Trail Ambassadors who use the path and offer to assist others, provide information, report any issues noticed, and advocate for the trail. During one week in August, the Ambassadors reported that up to 55 users of all ages were on the trail at any one point in time during the day, using the trail in a safe and respectful manner. The individuals using the trail included families, kids, senior citizens, runners, bicyclists, and walkers.
I have also ridden many other bicycle paths and rail trails in New Hampshire, as well as in other New England states, and have observed the value that these paths can provide to a community.
It is my belief and observation that bicycle paths and trails are a tremendous resource and asset for any community – particularly within Laconia and the Lakes Region where recreational and tourist opportunities are many. I believe the current WOW Trail with the Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail path extension into Belmont is a great resource for our communities and its residents, as well as those who are visitors to the Lakes Region.
I fully support continued and ongoing discussions about how to further develop the WOW Trail to connect to the Weirs and points beyond. I am also in full support of the proposed study by the City Council that will explore the expansion of the WOW Trail to connect with The Weirs. The original thoughts were to continue development via the railroad corridor from Lakeport, which is land that is owned by the state of New Hampshire. A study can explore all factors and considerations, providing data, facts, and recommendations which the WOW Trail organization, Laconia City Council, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and property owners can consider in deliberating how to proceed. A study can provide a structure for discussion that can be most helpful for reaching decisions on what will work best, or what will not work best, for our city as a whole. I hope we can engage in a rational, civil, and reasonable dialogue that brings us to an outcome we all can appreciate and rally behind as a community, using objective review of data and information. It is not helpful to promote information that is not accurate or realistic.
It is also hurtful, and not in anyone’s best interests, to have personal innuendos and derogatory names written about trail supporters just because they happen to believe in an approach that others may not. Let us keep an open mind and continue with some meaningful, purposeful, and respectful face-to-face discussions.
- Written by Mike Mortensen
- Category: Letters
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