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Letter: Support for Plover River Crossing is ‘disturbing’

To the Editor-

I’m trying to be nice after the meeting about the Plover River Crossing on Tuesday, and I find it most disturbing to see how many people are choosing to have our natural beauty turned into a path to nowhere, (a.k.a a path to Target and Fleet Farm).

Mr. Menzel suggested that parents will bike to the soccer fields on the east side of Hofmeister Drive. Can you imagine parents hauling soccer equipment to the soccer fields via bicycles? Mr. Menzel and Ms. Jennings are truly trying to take away our wildlife sanctuary and giving it to the masses. Who gave them permission?

Ms. Meg Erhler, representing the School Board, said it would be great for Washington and Bannach schools. This proposed path is not accessible from the schools by walking, so now we bring in school buses, (if there are sufficient funds for field trips) and add to emissions/air pollution, noise pollution, and chemical pollution. The supporters plan to have it open during all seasons, now we add snow removal and chemical pollution from salts into a wildlife sanctuary. There is no part of the Green Circle Trail, I’m aware of, that is cleared in the winter, so why this area, the bike path to nowhere.

The asphalt and toxic paint that is used to build this path to nowhere is going to leach petroleum-based substances into the Plover River, but the supporters want us to believe it’s not a big deal since there is already pollution. As I’ve said in the past, they would be doing a great service to the community, and a wildlife sanctuary, if they spent our tax dollars using their energy abating the offending pollution, or invasive species they claim are present.

A TAP Grant uses 80 percent federal money (our taxes) and 20 percent local donation money. The city of Stevens Point has already spent over $66,000 purchasing a lot east of the Plover River for access. Who is aware that our city taxes paid for something that isn’t even built, and did the city make that purchase is known to us, the property owners whose taxes pay for this?

Let me tell you about the “not so nice” reasons to live on the Green Circle Trail, as I do. Not everyone who bikes it is respectful, kind, or knows the rules of the road. For instance, one lady yelled out she didn’t have to stop at stop signs on her bike. She claimed that bikes in Wisconsin don’t have to stop.

Now, you and I both know that bikes are considered vehicles and are to follow the rules of the road. Others will ride five across the road, taking up the roadway completely, as if this is a “trail”, not a city street. They have no respect for those of us that live here. Some 14 years ago, when my daughter was dying from cancer, I could not leave Ridge Rd. because of an event that was going on, to get to the hospital. Walking or riding, it’s always the same. The road is taken over by the event. No one has the courtesy to let the property owners know that the event is coming/happening. If you want to get out of your driveway, you are taking your life, and riders/walkers, in your hands.

Even when there isn’t an event (charity, walk/ride, etc.) the people using the GCT are not always informed that this is a street, with rules that apply. This weekend there is an MS event. Have we been told? Of course not. We’ll be at their mercy. Don’t plan to get to your appointment, or event of your own. I have no problem with charities and events happening, however, it does IMPACT OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Adding to the traffic, and undermining the wildlife sanctuary is unwelcome and uninvited.

Mr. Menzel and Ms. Jennings made sure the plan they have is not in their backyard. They both live in Park Ridge.

When Mr. Menzel mentioned that there will be no motorized vehicles on the crossing, who is he kidding? There are electric bicycles every day going past my house. If they aren’t motorized, then tell me what they are? Who is going to police this area when other things happen? When this crossing brings in more traffic, who comes to our rescue when the plan isn’t exactly working? We cannot get back what we destroy. It takes years to heal one footprint. And all the cutesy things aren’t so cutesy when you look at the parts they leave out.

This is wrong on so many levels. How can this be good for the environment? I am disappointed that many appear to back this path to nowhere. Just like Stanley St. bike lane (and many others)..the path to nowhere. If the planners are using this beautiful area to promote their political careers, then a simple “SHAME ON YOU” will suffice.

I will end this with words from Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was referring to the Grand Canyon. The Plover River is a natural wonder, no different in its beauty.

“I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it is now. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else. To mar the wonderful grandeur. the sublimity, the great loneliness, and beauty. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as a sight, everyone should see.”

Ruth Pfiffner
Stevens Point

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