Shirey Letter - 08/23/09

This letter was sent to the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners: On behalf of the 374 members of the Covington-Conyers Cycling Club, the 30 members of the Olde Town Bike Committee, hundreds of unaffiliated recreational cyclists and hundreds of low-income commuter cyclists and pedestrians in our community, thank you for funding Rockdale County's portion of the regional multi-use trail study.

You've created a very positive buzz amongst our active cyclists. We are very happy that our commissioners understand the potential of this trail:

1) Recreational opportunities for the entire spectrum of the community, young and old. Arabia Mountain Trail already boasts being the only park in Georgia with more women users than men.

2) As a driver of economic development by clearly representing our community as understanding the importance of quality of life for the employees of potential new businesses. Potential new businesses will see a community that can create opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. As we leave the current economic slump behind us, in a newly competitive metro area, Rockdale must set itself apart from the failing land-use and transportation models used in other metro communities.

3) It will increase tourism. By linking to what is already the longest paved bike trail in the nation (the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails), our "string of pearls" through Rockdale and Newton counties, Panola Mountain State Park, South River Trail, Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Johnson Park, 4A Development, Olde Town Conyers, the Georgia International Horse Park and Mountain Bike Trails, Emory at Oxford Campus and Covington, we will create a destination for cyclists from all over the nation. This will be in the same fashion that cyclists travel to visit Portland, Ore., the Virginia Creeper Bike Trail, Bike Ride across Iowa (RAGBRAI), and Bike Ride across Georgia (BRAG).

4) Our multi-use trail can be a component of a comprehensive bike/pedestrian plan that can transition neophyte cyclists to bike lanes and roadways as commuters and shoppers, helping with less car traffic, cleaner air and improved quality of life.

You've demonstrated remarkable leadership and vision for our community. Thank you!

Eddie Shirey