Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Don't Forget Local Residents
However, there’s another aspect that I think our city fathers overlook at times, that being activities that enhance the quality of life for those of us who live here all year. Given that a high percentage of local tax revenues are paid by residents (not visitors), the needs – and wants – of residents should be high on the list for spending priorities.
Here are a couple of examples of what I’m referring to. The downtown River Trail is widely used by local residents as they walk, jog, or just visit the river banks on a nice afternoon. The trails need to be improved (yes) and they need to be expanded (yes), but that area DOES NOT need to become another San Antonio-style river walk. Think about trying to go for a relaxed walk or jog through San Antonio’s river district and you’ll see what I mean.
A second example is development at Lake Nasworthy that’s intended purely to attract big events or tourists. Granted, more beaches, RV campgrounds, and maybe a few lakeside condo’s would be great, but … if we focus on developing that area solely for big events such as the drag boat races, then we’ll be depriving locals of their ability to access and use the most popular recreation areas in San Angelo. What we do need is a good network of bike/pedestrian trails to circle the reservoir and connect area neighborhoods to parks and beaches. Problem is, local users don’t bring in additional tax dollars (but, … we do already pay taxes).
If you don’t thing there’s a demand for this type of local infrastructure, I suggest that you go visit Gun Club Road (the KOA loop) on any evening or on a weekend morning. The area is typically crowded with people who are out for a walk or run. Imagine our city if we had multiple “KOA Loops” scattered throughout San Angelo, and – more importantly – think about the impact on fitness and wellness if those areas encouraged more people to get out and exercise. Our city fathers need to remember that we (local residents) live here year round and we all pay taxes.
July 31: Bulldog Run 10K, http://roadlizards.org/Upcoming%20Races/BulldogFlyer_2010.pdf
Aug. 7: Road Bike Time Trial, http://www.sanangelobicycleassociation.com/
Aug. 8: Wool Capitol Triathlon, www.ironheadrp.com/woolcapital/index.html
Aug. 8: Biscuits & Gravy Rotary Ride for Hunger, http://www.rotaryrideforhunger.org//
Aug. 21: Goodfellow Triathlon, http://www.roadlizards.org/Upcoming%20Races/GAFB_Flyer_2010.pdf
Sept. 11: Burma Road Time Trial, http://www.sanangelobicycleassociation.com/
Sept 18-19: Fort Davis Cyclefest, http://www.active.com/cycling/fort-davis-tx/%20fort-davis-cyclefest-tour-2010
Oct. 9-10: Texas Cycling Championships, http://www.txbra.org/
Oct 16-17: Season Opener, Texas Cup cyclocross series, http://www.txbra.org/
Oct. 30: Six Hour Mountain Bike Race, http://www.sanangelobicycleassociation.com/