Letter: I have an alternative to the Riverwalk

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Dear Editor, 

Thank you for keeping us up to date on important Town planning and budget issues. 

Regarding your recent piece about the Farmville Riverwalk, it appears that the Town should review its goals, and the costs, of a proposed trail downtown. As you and your readers know, my husband and I are daily walkers all over Town: 2-3 miles daily, and for the past year picking up litter/trash/garbage on our walks. There are aplenty stories – and secrets – in waste. And in walking. You can learn a lot about a place. 

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Did you know, for example, that folks have made a footpath off the High Bridge Trail, through the brush, near Merk’s, to get to Merk’s and down to the sidewalk and Third Street? Some likely want some of Merk’s excellent cake while on a bike ride or walk, and some likely are trying to get to Third to make a loop of a ride or walk to the lovely Sarah Terry Trail. 

Can Town spend planning and budget on that idea (rather than on the Riverwalk idea)? Let’s connect High Bridge Trail – by infrastructure (including safe crosswalk and signage) – with Sarah Terry? There is a gravel road connecting High Bridge with Third (but that appears to be County jurisdiction): improving that road, improving/widening the sidewalk and adding a crosswalk could make the connection. Perhaps better, the Town appears to own a parcel that could connect High Bridge with Third, and over to Sarah Terry, by adding a crosswalk. 

Alternatively, but more extensive, and requiring more VDOT involvement the Town could add a crosswalk near the Train Station to the sidewalk for pedestrians/bikers to go up to the intersection at the Hospital adding a substantial crosswalk there to get over to the Sarah Terry Trail. 

There is considerable evidence – from pedestrian/biker studies, public safety analysis, tourism/ economic development – that adding safe, pleasant, interesting pedestrian (and biking) opportunities is a ‘win’. Would one of these ideas be less costly, and a bigger win – for the Town? 

Edward Strickler