I notice all the talk lately about a walking, running, and biking trail from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids.
Most people encouraging its creation cite more exercise, fresh air, and tourism enticement for downtown businesses. But let’s critically examine the motivation and practicality of a paved trail, at least the Wayland portion
There are supposedly many supporters for the trail. The whole idea is to have a paved trail from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids. So where is all the support for all the areas where this trail will reside?
All those areas in between are big question marks. How many communities and townships are willing to shell out more precious tax money on a trail when roads need more attention because of wear and tear? The vast majority of those taxpayers will never set foot on the trail but you want all to contribute for a road to nowhere?
I know the cry will be “we’ll get a grant from the state” — You do realize grant money is tax revenue? And the grant money only is seed money, the vast majority will come from local taxpayers. There will be planning, excavation, right if way costs, paving, maintenance, and possibly security costs to ensure safety on the trail.
So this will not be a one time cost and dropped. It will be the gift that will need to keep giving. Any idea how much just the Wayland portion from Dahlia Street to 133rd will cost?
So if the folks from Wayland decide to support the trail, what are the other townships south and north of Wayland planning to do? Do they have enthusiastic support for the trail? I doubt they can convince the already stressed taxpayers to shell out extra money for a trail when their own local roads are in disrepair.
I ask supporters of this trail to look hard at all the costs, and if they still wish to pursue, what are they willing to cut out of the budget to accommodate this trail, because the little town of Wayland is taxed to the maximum, it is the highest taxed town in Allegan County, as the author of TB has acknowledged.