Support the Sangamon Valley Trail

trail_largeThe Sangamon Valley Trail (SVT) is on life support and needs your help! Springfield is behind many other Illinois cities in bike paths. Bloomington’s Constitution Trail and Madison County’s bike trails are good examples. Illinois is behind Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri in the network of bike paths built through Transportation Enhancement funds. Minnesota allocates 85% of its enhancement dollars to cycling trails and facilities, compared to 40% in Illinois.

Bike Trails in the larger sense are for walkers, runners, roller bladders, bird watchers and those who enjoy the outdoors. The Sangamon Valley Trail is a treasure in concept and a promise for future recreation. It is has potential to draw recreational riders from across central Illinois as the full 39 miles are developed. Just as many of us in Springfield travel to cycle in nearby states for their trails, so will others come to ride the SVT.

The SVT is adjacent to many subdivisions. Moreover old railroad bridges cross arterial streets that would make it safe for riders of all ages and abilities. It is in a particularly scenic area and the bridge over the Sangamon River in a future stage is beautiful!

The trail represents a “field of dreams” for future generations. Its value outweighs many of the streetscape and beautification projects with which it competes for funding. The Springfield Bicycle Club and the League of Illinois Bicyclists contend the main intent and most popular use of the enhancement funds is to provide bike trails and an alternative to our car culture.

We commend the Sangamon County Board and Tim Zahrn for submitting this project. We urge readers to contact Governor Quinn, Mayor Davlin and our local legislators to support the Sangamon Valley Trail.

(From the Springfield Bicycle Club Announcments)