Tri-State Trail Vision supports the Heritage Trail Bridge Project. With the understanding that the county has to work within certain budgetary constraints and that not all projects are appropriate for the county to take on, we stand firm that the Heritage Trail Bridge should be a priority. The Heritage Trail Bridge Project should be viewed in terms of:
1) Economic development. Increasingly, individuals are choosing where to live based on recreational opportunities. It is vital that Dubuque County develop such opportunities in order to attract a talented and entrepreneurial 21st century workforce.
In “The Rise of the Creative Class,” Richard Florida noted “Creative class people value active outdoor recreation very highly. They are drawn to places and communities where many outdoor activities are prevalent—both because they enjoy these activities and because their presence is seen as a signal that the place is amenable to the broader creative lifestyle. The creative-class people in my studies are into a variety of active sports, from traditional ones like bicycling, jogging, and kayaking to newer, more extreme ones, like trail running and snowboarding”.
2) The health and wellbeing of Dubuque County citizens. Providing opportunities for individuals to be active is the first step in fighting back the trend of increasing obesity and health care costs. A connected, accessible trail system that allows residents to travel from their homes to long distance trails (like the Heritage Trail) sends a message that access to recreational activities is important for residents of all ages.
3) Safety. While it may be possible to put in a cross walk for pedestrians instead of a bridge to save money, forcing individuals to cross 4 lanes of highway creates very unsafe situations. Highways are designed to move cars from point A to point B very quickly with very few obstructions. Putting in a heavily used cross walk slows and frustrates that traffic, significantly increasing the likelihood of unfortunate accidents.
In conclusion, the Heritage Trail Bridge is an investment in the future of Dubuque County, and should be viewed as such; an investment in the future health and safety of our community.
Please support the Heritage Trail Bridge Project.