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Where’s the proof that paved trails are beneficial?

To the Editor:
Last April, proof was requested for the claims within the McLeod Trails Plan about the benefits of paved bike trails. To date, no response has yet been provided by either the city of Hutchinson or McLeod County.   
After creating 53 miles of trails within Hutchinson, and an additional 20 paved Luce Line miles, paying artists to display their work along the trails, $100,000 in unnecessary signs to show bike riders where to ride, and obtaining a bike-friendly award for the city of Hutchinson, exactly what are the benefits realized? Has even one company or one new employee moved here because of these “investments?” Who? If paved trails are such an economic engine, perhaps Citizens Bank could step up to make its own “investment.”
Hutchinson City Councilor Chad Czmowski has repeatedly been asked if his Outdoor Motion Bike Shop in downtown Hutchinson is growing. Can Chad please respond to this critical question? The silence is deafening. Frankly, if Chad’s bicycle business, in the heart of Hutchinson, isn’t booming by now, what businesses exactly are supposed to grow from all of the trail spending that Chad voted for?
Claims of improved health have been made for more paved trails. After considering the above trail “investments,” there have been no reports published on the improved health of Hutchinson residents from the increased exercise predicted by using these trails. Isn’t there some measurable level of improved health since the trail-building era began or as compared to other areas of McLeod County without paved trails? Is there really no proof at all to justify these health claims after 10 years?
Lastly, since Bill Arndt promises that county trail maintenance costs are “overblown” and “minor;” how about Hutchinson makes a 20-year commitment to help pay for them?  
In the meantime, please provide some proof to these claims.  
Jim Bobier
Acoma Township