Letter to Editor – Separate Bike Trails Urgently Needed
Bajans are demonstrating a strong appetite for outdoor recreational space in the wake of Covid 19. However, we cannot continue to encourage active mobility, be it cycling, running, or walking, when the road conditions place people’s lives at risk.
Barbados is almost unique in the region for having a disused historic train-line that is owned or controlled by the Government. With no land acquisition cost, this corridor can be paved with a 10′ strip and landscaped to provide at low cost a multi-use trail stretching from Bridgetown to Consett Bay.
Cosy Corner in Haggatt Hall, could serve as the hub from which a third commuter trail could travel parallel to the ABC highway all the way to Warrens.
To be clear we are advocating for ‘Class 1 Bike Trails’ that are completely separate from existing roads; a stand-alone active transport network that is infinitely safer than painted bike lanes on existing roads. Such a network, complete with amenities, rain shelters every kilometer, seating, and interpretive signage would provide exercise and commuting opportunities for both locals and visitors.
Increasingly, funding agencies are demanding that large roadbuilding and infrastructure projects incorporate a sustainability component – continuous sidewalks, walkable environments, and bike trails.
Children want to ride to school. Employees want to cycle commute to work. Visitors want to explore the island. Let us ensure they can do so safely.