~Submitted by Adam Schwartz
For most people, the debate about the Minuteman Bikeway Extension Project is not really about to pave or not to pave (about 27 percent of the existing route from Depot Park to the Route 62 crossing is currently paved). It comes down to if they want more people using the path. Some folks are more comfortable with keeping it the way it is and others would like to see more people being able to take advantage of it.
Almost everybody is for the safety benefits proposed for Railroad Avenue and the Route 62 underpass. In an ideal world, we would be able to pick and choose the pieces that we want or make changes to some of them. However, this is not the hand we were dealt. So, we need to look at this project as a whole and decide if this is a net negative or net positive.
So how should I vote?
Similar to most decisions in life, there is usually not a perfect choice. Like taking a new job or moving to a new area, you have to weigh the positives and negatives. For example, a new job opportunity may have a higher salary, but a longer commute. You need to weigh what is the best choice for you and your family. In this case, the outcome also impacts the community, so many people will also consider the pros and cons for both themselves and the common good before reaching a decision.
What happens after?
There are many people with strong opinions on this project. In fact, your neighbor and you may disagree on this. That can actually be a good thing. A diverse set of opinions makes us stronger. How you react to your neighbor or friend having a different opinion on this is up to you. You can ultimately agree to disagree (maybe you understand their viewpoint – maybe you don’t) or you can get sucked in and believe that the people on “the other side” are 100 percent wrong and don’t have Bedford’s best interest at heart. The choice is yours.