To the editor:
Before much more hysteria builds behind the proposal to construct a luxury recreational spa in west Lawrence, I would like to suggest a modest alternative that is more in keeping with our current economy. I propose using the recreational funds to build a facility across the whole of our community that would benefit members of all ages and boost economic development at the same time. My proposal would reduce carbon emissions and traffic rather than forcing our citizens to drive long distances and create more traffic congestion. My proposed facility would be available to citizens 24/7, 12 months a year and not require a large staff to run. I realize that the facility that I am proposing would be a radical departure from business as usual and that many people will have difficulty adjusting to a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, my proposal would encourage everyone in our community to exercise rather than a privileged few.
I propose making Lawrence a gold standard bicycle friendly community. The League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) rates communities’ support of cycling on a scale that evaluates engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and planning. Lawrence currently only rates at the bronze level on the League’s scale. In addition to an investment in connectivity for bikers and pedestrians, the gold standard evaluates incentives for bicycle commuting to work and safe routes to school. I hope that our scarce recreational funds can be invested on the basis of rational comparisons of costs and benefits rather than hype.