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June 17, 2015

To the Editor

As a Black Butte Ranch homeowner and frequent visitor to the area, I have followed the debate about a paved bike trail between Black Butte Ranch and Sisters for years.

The June 3 story how Oregon Solutions "dropped out of the process" given "the inability to bring key parties to the table" is beyond belief that even a "mediator" can't bring people together to find a reasonable solution that appears people support in concept but "don't want in my backyard."

Step back and consider this: The town of Sisters, population 2,200, has bike trails running through the town, two bike shops, promotes biking as part of the attraction of Sisters. Black Butte Ranch has 1,200 homes, 18 miles of paved bike trails, a bike shop, and biking is promoted as an attraction.

Yet, there is a visceral reaction to linking the two communities with a "paved" trail, that will run past other homes, "harm" the forest, invite trespassing and invade privacy. How were bike trails and paths ever approved and constructed in Sisters and Black Butte Ranch? In Lake Tahoe, California, there is a paved bike trail from Squaw Valley to Homewood, 13 miles. Sun Valley created paved bike trails that connect the towns of Bellevue, Hailey and Ketchum, or 15 miles of paved trails running by streams, golf courses, houses, through meadows and forest.

If other communities have done this by working together, why can't this community? Instead of driving, wasting gas, polluting the atmosphere, you could walk or ride a bike to shop, eat, or just be out for exercise. I appreciate the trail would be "carved" through the forest and be close to people's homes, but is that any different now with cars running past your home or business on the existing road, or people taking a walk on the paved street or path? Surely there has to be a way for people to find a solution that works for everyone.

Chris Lalli