The Editor, Re: "Railway corridor anti-progress," Letters, Aug. 14.
I just read yet another Letter to the Editor against the Railway Avenue Greenway.
As a Richmond resident who lives near Railway & Granville, I have used the Railway Avenue Greenway a number of times already (when there's no construction), and I feel I must put in my "two cents" in support of the project, as I believe the pros far outweigh the cons.
I will start by stating that I, like others, would have preferred for the city to have used a non-toxic, environmentally friendly surface for the Greenway's pathway rather than asphalt, although I don't know what the perfect environmental/cost efficient answer would be for a pedestrian/bike/blade/board friendly path.
Moving forward, I think the new Railway Avenue Greenway Project should be recognized for the many long term benefits to Richmond residents and visitors alike: The Greenway supports and creates community - people come out to one communal pathway that connects one end of Richmond with the other (and many neighborhoods in between). The Greenway creates a place for people to come together. It beckons people to come outside their front doors, make eye contact, and say "hello" to their neighbors.
The Greenway gives people an opportunity to discover their own neighborhood, and venture into other parts of their community that they may not typically walk or ride through (leave the car at home!).
The Greenway supports a healthy, active lifestyle. Families can safely go out together to bike, walk, blade and board together. You can't do that with young children on the bike lane or sidewalk (with peace of mind).
Groups of cyclists can safely ride as a pack on the Greenway - which cuts down traffic congestion on the already narrow Railway Avenue (because when there's a pack of cyclists on Railway, the cyclists inevitably swell out into the roadway causing traffic to slow).
The Greenway is still in development - I hope to see water refill stations/fountains, washrooms (at the half-way point?), and more tree-lined paths (to clean the air, provide shade). Light posts to light the corridor in the fall/winter months (that aren't too bright so as to respect the residents there). Also "bridges" over the ditch to connect all the bus stops to the Greenway.
When it comes to the Railway Avenue Greenway, yes, let's think about how we can do it better next time (if more of these community-connecting corridors are to be built in Richmond), but for what we have now, I'm a supporter.
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