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home : opinions : opinions June 24, 2016

7/2/2013 2:05:00 PM
Don't pave in the forest
By Brenda Hartford

Growing up, my parents always took me with them when visiting friends or relatives. After awhile I became bored, so would find things to do such as rearranging knickknacks. My mom would stop me, make me put everything back and say, "when you come into other people's houses, you cannot change things around to suit you."

So when I moved to Sisters from Vancouver 20 years ago, I considered my family moving into someone's "house." I accepted and loved the unique and wonderful slow-paced lifestyle Sisters had to offer. If I wanted to do something Sisters didn't have, I'd drive to Bend.

Don't get me wrong, some change has been good; more choices in the restaurant category, a movie house. But when I find out there are going to be paved trails in our forests, I have to wonder about that California-Valley influence. What kind of people are moving into Sisters away from the city life only to change Sisters into the town they left?

Bicyclists, if you want pavement to ride on, move to Bend (very bicycle friendly), or talk to ODOT and have them fix Highway 242. There are a number of things you can do, but instead Christy Miller from USFS and the Sisters Trails Alliance have decide to pave forest trails. Right now it's just a few, which Ms. Miller has already stated was a done deal.

So if they get that pushed through, what's going to stop them from paving more trails? It's already a proven fact that the people's wishes don't matter. More rules, more laws, more paved trails, more back-in parking; all for the good of the people. Seems to me it's more like "the good of the bicycle community."

I found out about the approved paved trail when I attended a Crossroads POA meeting on June 25. They want to pave through the fire exit off Bluegrass Loop. The Sisters Trails Alliance had approached Christy Miller about the paved trail project from Crossroads to the high school. The pavement will stop 100 feet from the fire exit so the Crossroads board need to get approval from the homeowner and "talk" to the residents. I was shocked to hear that was the plan and even more shocked to learn two of our board members are part of the Sisters Trails Alliance and avid bike riders.

Can you spell "agenda"?

At this meeting, each person was allowed one minute to speak. One woman talked about being able to ride from one country to another in Europe due to all the trails. Another said she wouldn't let her kids ride their bikes to school due to the bumpy dirt trail. Another said her child rode his bike on the trail and fell because his bike was not made to ride on dirt trails.

My response is:

No. 1: We aren't Europe, we aren't Portland, we aren't Tualatin, we aren't Jacksonville. We are beautiful Sisters, Oregon.

No. 2: My kids rode their bikes to school on the horrible dirt trails - no problem.

I see several kids during the school year riding their bikes on those terrible dirt forest trails - no problem.

No. 3: If your bike is not dirt trail adaptable, buy one that is. We live in the country, not the city.

The pawn shop here in town has lots of bikes for sale at good prices.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but you have offended me by wanting to change this perfectly beautiful and unique place to live.

Brenda Hartford is a Crossroads resident. She drives a school bus for the Sisters School District.

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