May 29, 2015

To the Editor:

My husband and I purchased a second home in the Tollgate subdivision last spring and we are avid bicyclists who chose to buy a home in Sisters due to the terrific biking, hiking and other recreational opportunities in the area. While we appreciate how wide the shoulder is on Highway 20 when riding our bikes on weekends around the greater Sisters area, we are thrilled about the prospects of having a separately paved bike trail alternative, as crossing over Highway 20 to enter or leave the Tollgate subdivision can be a truly scary proposition.

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 Sisters community, while making bike riding safer for all our residents, whether they are children going to and from school, bike commuters, or adult weekend residents like ourselves. This paved bike trail will be a great community asset, 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 recently published environmental assessment on the project offers two alternatives that move the path well away from private lots that should provide a reasonable buffer zone to Tollgate residents. Given the benefit of having a new paved bike and walking path that will offer a safer route to town and its likely positive impact on Tollgate property values, we are confident that either of these alternatives can provide a workable solution for all concerned.

Let's build the paved bike path!

Laura McCall