July 22, 2015

Hi. I’m writing each of you today to advocate for your support for the construction of the paved bike trail from Sisters to Black Butte Ranch. My husband and I purchased a second home in the Tollgate subdivision just outside of Sisters in 2012. We are avid bicyclists who chose to buy a home in Tollgate because of the terrific road and mountain biking, hiking and other recreational opportunities that abound in Deschutes County . Since buying this home, we spend a lot of long weekends and our summer and winter vacations in the area, and hope to someday make our permanent home in the Sisters area. When we are in Sisters, we often ride our bikes along the shoulder adjacent to the busy Highway 20/126 both to town and towards Black Butte Ranch -- as you might imagine, we are thrilled about the prospects of having a paved bike trail alternative to riding the shoulder of the highway, as crossing over Highway 20/126 to enter or leave the Tollgate subdivision can be a truly scary, life-threatening proposition on a bicycle.

We believe that the construction of the proposed 7.6-mile paved, non-motorized path between Sisters and Black Butte Ranch will provide significant recreational improvements and long-term economic benefits to the larger Sisters community, while making bike riding safer for all our residents, whether they are children going to and from our local middle and high schools, bike commuters, or adult weekend residents like ourselves. This paved bike trail will be a great community asset that will increase property values, while providing yet another reason for tourists to come and enjoy all the natural splendor of the Sisters area.

With respect to the privacy/impact concerns expressed by some of our Tollgate neighbors, the selected south side alternative that moves the path well away from private residences in Tollgate should provide a reasonable buffer zone (its 371 ft from the nearest home), while still allowing Tollgate residents to avoid the dangers inherent in crossing a busy highway that would be required if the paved path is located on the north side of the highway. Given all the benefits of having a safe, paved bike and walking path to town from our subdivision, I urge your support of this great project.

Let's build the paved bike path! Soon!

Laura Lockwood-McCall
14828 Doubletree
Sisters, Oregon 97759