Do you want 370 miles of bike paths?

by:  Diane Benjamin

McLean County is going to add to the bike trail going north.  The Illinois Department of Transportation is paying 80% of the cost, McLean county, Bloomington, and Normal are paying most of the rest.  The smaller cities are pitching in some money too.

McLean County will pay:  $145,000

Bloomington will pay:   $239,000

Normal will pay:  $177,000

First, the 80% paid by the state IS taxpayer money.  The state dangles it in front of local officials, the local guys take the bait.  McLean County gets a bike path cheap – by government standards.  The long-term goal is to create a path all the way to Chicago.

If the State is paying 80%, the total cost of this leg is more than $2,800,000.  How many bikers will use it?  Nobody knows, but there is a bigger question:

Who is going to maintain it?

So, the bikers get this great new path built.  The union laborers are happy.  Who is going to maintain the path a year or 2 from now?  Are taxpayers spending a lot of money to create a future failure because nobody wants to throw maintenance money at it?  Does anybody think about the future consequences of taking money now?  Our roads can’t be maintained – why would a bike path be different?

How much does all this cost per person for the people who will use it?  What percent of the population bike?  Since when does a minority get to command where millions of dollars are spent?  Bikers win because they showed up and demanded it.  You will lose for not showing up and demanding government fund essential services first.

Do you understand now why government will NEVER have enough money?  As long as they keep jumping at an 80% paid projects that benefits a small percentage of the population, your taxes will keep going up.  Wait until you get the resurfacing bills in the future.  Bike paths are great, but not when the essential responsibilities of government aren’t being funding and government wants to raise your taxes.



6 thoughts on “Do you want 370 miles of bike paths?

  1. You know, everything to you is seen through the lens of money which, not to belie its importance, is only one among competing modes of evaluation. Have you considered the stance that not everything should be subjected to an economic calculation?

        1. I realize you don’t like to look at deficits, is that how you handle your own finances? Aren’t the taxpayers entitled to elected officials who don’t spend other peoples money recklessly?

  2. Why spend more of our tax dollars on this when the city doesn’t maintain what we have! I ask you to do me a small favor, drive over to the Constitution Trail at Attwood Station and walk the trail just four blocks from East Jefferson heading North to Locust Street. As you walk just look on both sides of you at the litter and debris that is scattered on the ground. It looks very ghetto, not as bad as our back alley, but it shows poor upkeep from our city.

  3. I guess the city leaders do read the BLN News because I just walked my little dog on the Constitution Trail and the litter and debris has been picked up! I wish they could be just as concerned about the alley behind us that the city owns.

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