Bike paths have deteriorated

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To the Editor:

As a bike rider here for more than 45 years, and as a driver too, I am sympathetic to Nancy Hoffman’s letter in the July 26 Times, imploring bikers to stay on the bike paths rather than ride on the roads. But her letter doesn’t identify the principal problem: the gross deterioration of the bike paths, once a jewel-like amenity that served both riders and drivers well.

As a biker, I’d much prefer to ride on the paths. But the open seams and substantial pavement separations, among other jarring irregularities, have, over time, forced me back onto the roads, their risks assumed over the rocky discomfort of the paths. I have mostly ridden the paths around the airport, in the State Forest. Upon learning that this path (and, presumably, all the others that are appurtenant to state roads) is under the jurisdiction and maintenance of MassDOT, I emailed Dylan Fernandes last year.

With his customary responsiveness, he informed me that work to repair the State Forest path would begin around Memorial Day 2018. This did not happen. I emailed again. This time Dylan told me the work had been rescheduled for fall 2018, after the most intense riding season.

Essentially the bike paths have become orphans. The ones I have ridden on haven’t had any meaningful maintenance or repair in years. It would be helpful in providing impetus to MassDOT if people who share Nancy Hoffman’s concerns, and mine, would email Dylan Fernandes and add their voices to the call for action now and regular maintenance in the future: Dylan.Fernandes@mahouse.gov.

Nicholas W. Puner

West Tisbury