100 at Public Hearing for Proposed Bike-Ped Bridge

About 100 supporters of a proposed bicycle-pedestrian bridge over the Connecticut river in Northfield, Massachusetts attended a meeting with state officials. Northfield borders Vermont and is near Greenfield. No one opposed the bridge at the meeting. State senator Stan Rosenberg was at the October 30 meeting in Northfield.

Steve Tower is chair of the group Friends of Schell Bridge, which supports the project and has a web site at www.SchellBridge.org. He told the Valley Post he expects the bridge will be built and that is will be done within six years from now. Tower said he will know more certainly when the state finishes a study about a year from now.

The bridge would connect two parks and a network of bicycle paths that span Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

In 2011, Friends of Schell Bridge hired Umass Amherst to do a study about how much money people visiting the proposed bridge would spend. The study showed that the visitors would spend almost a million dollars a year.

There is an abandoned bridge at the site of the proposed bridge. The abandoned bridge is known as Schell Bridge and is too old and decrepit to be safe. It would be removed before the new bridge is built.

Schell Bridge is "the most beautiful bridge on the Connecticut River," according to the Friends' web site, where there are photos of the bridge. At the meeting, state officials said the new bridge will look similar to the old one.

Walking and riding a bicycle reduces obesity. Treatment of obesity-related health problems for people without health insurance costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year.

Walking or riding a bicycle, rather than driving, is good for the environment. Cars cause global warming.


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