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Friday, September 21, 2012

Why are we trying to build bike trails?

Please let me answer the writer at The Pickens County Courier about the people who oppose the "Doodle Railroad Trail" and why.

Reference: Doodle Trail talks spark local debate/Pickens County Courier

The Conservatives of the Upstate did two surveys.

The first was a random sampling of walkers through the Pickens Jockey Lot. When we approached a walker, we had no idea where they lived. We only asked them if they were from Pickens County. Many were from Pickens AND Easley, but a consensus opinion was 93 out of 95 against the bike trail. These aren't "about 93" or "approximately 93". If we want to estimate, it's "nearly 98%" (97.8% to be exact).

In a second survey, (3) of our members conducted a survey of the property owners along the proposed trail. We visited 54 houses. 30 answered the door. 29 of the 30 were against the trail, and cited a loss of privacy and safety as two of their greatest concerns. (96.6%)

The residents along the trail asked the Conservatives of the Upstate for help as they were dumbfounded that their elected representatives seemed against them.
Many of our members are from the cities of Pickens and Easley. It is true that I personally am from the county, but I ask you to remember that at the August meeting of the County Council, the YMCA presented a survey that was totally biased having only polled some of the Y members. They had at least two people from Greenville County and one from out of state to testify. 
The Conservatives of the Upstate presented factual information about the "Swamp Rabbit Trail" in Greenville: areas of the trail are unsafe, it is dangerous, and the cost for upkeep/policing are astronomical millions!

In King County, Washington a man sued for $3.5 million and won the case saying he "hit a dip in the trail".

The people supporting The Swamp Rabbit Trail i.e., Mayor Knox White and officials from Upstate Forever had protested it going into their neighborhoods (Gower Estates and Parkins Mill Road) and got it moved. Cars, mopeds, and motorcycles have been seen on the trail.

Walkers have made numerous claims the Bikers are not courteous and vice versa.

Greenville has a multi-million budget for next year alone.

Travelers Rest has had to add two policemen at great cost.

Upstate Forever, a mostly Greenville Organization, and a professor at Furman University had a meeting on economic impact of the trail, but didn't invite us to the meeting. We saw it in the paper as it was taking place.

When grant money from the Federal government is used, all citizens have the right to protest. I remind you that the feds are over $16 trillion in debt, the state is underfunded on pensions by $23 billion, the county owes $400 million for school buildings, and the cities owe $10's of millions .

Why are we trying to build bike trails?

Junius Smith 
President / Chairman of the Board, Conservatives of the Upstate 

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