One of the issues that is often brought up in Glynn County is transportation, or a lack thereof of public transportation in particular. One way to alleviate that problem would be to create more biking and walking paths that connect areas to each other.
That would allow someone who may not own a car a chance to bike or walk safely to where they need to get. Even those who don’t have a distinct transportation need might appreciate the opportunity to bike or walk to their destination.
If anyone understands what it would take to bring more biking and walking paths to the Golden Isles, it is Ben Slade. He grew up in Brunswick and remembers growing up on Carpenter Street and biking around the city, going downtown to the library or to a movie.
Slade’s involvement is one of the reasons why we are excited for the new group Bike Walk Golden Isles, a group working to bring together community members interested in supporting the construction of additional trails in the area. His extensive involvement over the years in advocating for trails and land preservation in the Golden Isles bodes well for the group’s success.
Hopefully, the group will play a hand in helping our area catch up when it comes to the East Coast Greenway, an incredibly ambitious project to create a 3,000 trail from Key West, Fla., to Maine. It began in 1991 and is about one-third completed.
One of the states that is far behind in its progress is unfortunately Georgia. Locally, the city has shown more enthusiasm for the project than county officials have, according to Brent Buice, the South Carolina and Georgia coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance.
We would like to see the county put more of an effort into the project. There is land available in the county that could help flesh out the project more in our area. It just takes some commitment from local officials to make it happen. The city is on board, and we hope the county follows suit.
Trails can play an important part in the long-term vision for the Isles. Trails come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they can lead to a more connected community. It’s also a nice way to show off some of the impressive vistas you can find in Glynn County.
You can see how a good bike path can help connect a community by just looking at St. Simons Island, which has been bicycle friendly since the 1970s. You can hop on a bike and head to the beach or down to the Pier Village to check out the scenery and shops in minutes.
A community can’t be great unless it is connected. Adding some more trails will not only help out the greenway project, but also make for a better community. It’s time to do our part.