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Letters to the Editor 06/03/2015

To the Editor:

We are Black Butte Ranch homeowners who support the development of a bike trail between BBR and Sisters. Current owners and registered guests use and enjoy the existing bike trails at the Ranch. The development of the trail to Sisters would extend safe biking opportunities beyond the Ranch and in general add to the recreational options available. We know our guests, children, grandchildren would appreciate such an amenity and use it for both biking and walking.

We have no concerns about increased crime or trespassing as a result of such a trail. As far as we know, there is no factual data from the police department or board that suggest the existence of such a bike bath would significantly increase any of these undesirable outcomes. Even if trespassing were to become an issue, we are confident that Ranch management could institute appropriate access controls.

For two decades one of us has closely observed the Row River Bike Trail, a 15-mile paved trail that is used by hikers, bikers and equestrians. It starts in Cottage Grove and runs along the shores of the Row River and Dorena Reservoir. The initial widespread fears of homeowners regarding increased vandalism, trespassing and crime have proven totally unfounded. Property and other crimes have not increased in the area even as trail usage has increased. Locals as well as visitors now view the trail as a major area attraction and amenity. The second signer of this letter has had a similar experience at her home in Stinson Beach, California.

A survey of Ranch homeowners completed last spring suggests that a significant majority of owners support the existence of such a trail. After thinking about the proposal and weighing pros and cons, we, too, believe the potential benefits far outweigh any hypothetical negative outcomes.

Sue Wickizer

Diane Wara