Trail Advocate Says Connecting Cape Bikeways Can Improve Traffic

HYANNIS – Biking advocates believe that projects to connect multi-use paths on Cape Cod will bring several benefits to the region, including alleviating some of the traffic congestion during the busy summer months.

Sandwich Bikeway and Pedestrian Committee Chairman Sean Polay said that Vision 88, a regional project to build a continuous, off-road path from Woods Hole to Provincetown, would be a way for cyclists and others to traverse all of Cape Cod, which could lead to fewer cars on the roads.

Polay said other possible benefits from expanding bike infrastructure include an economic boost from bicycle tourism, environmental benefits from fewer cars in use, and increased property values.

The potential Cape-wide trail would use many existing paths such as the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth and the Rail Trail that runs from Yarmouth to Wellfleet, while also incorporating the soon-to-be-built path in Sandwich, and efforts in Bourne to connect the Shining Sea Bikeway to the Cape Cod Canal.

In addition to Vision 88, Polay said there are also plans along the South Coast to connect trails from Rhode Island to Wareham.

“You can envision when the bridges get replaced over the canal, and those bridges are supposed to include a separated bike lane, multi-use facility over each bridge, how the connectivity extends beyond Cape Cod and can get folks all the way from Provincetown to Rhode Island,” he said.

Polay said not many people may bike to Cape Cod from far-off distances, but he said there would still be a benefit to the roadways even if visitors drive down to the Cape, park in one town, and then utilized the interconnected trails from there.

When asked about safety concern for cyclists and pedestrians using the roads, Polay continued to advocate for the advantages of multi-use trails.

“Multi-use paths are more than just cycle paths. They are paths for people to run, to walk, to gather as families, not only with children but with dogs. They’re multi-use, truly. The more that we have of those, the safer people will be doing those type of actives away from the busy roads,” Polay said.

Click here for the full Sunday Journal Interview with Sean Polay.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

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