To the Editor:

While I don’t care much for the current cold snap, I do welcome the greater variety of birds it brings to our feeders. In addition to the usual swarm of sparrows, we are seeing juncos, black-capped chickadees, a Carolina wren, two families of cardinals, and some visitors I don’t recognize.

For a true “Birder,” these are all relatively common birds, but just before the cold set in, I was thrilled to see a pair of rarissima avis  righthere on East State Street: two – not just one, but two – cyclists actually using a bike lane! I must admit that I am not a fan of those lanes, but as a city taxpayer I am encouraged that the $90,000 the administration wants to spend annually on the Baileys Mountain Bike Trail System near Chauncey may not be wasted after all. For example, if, after only a year or so, the new lanes on East State already have proved attractive to two cyclists, I am sure it won’t be long until the hills and dales around Chauncey are alive with 10 times that number of bikers pumping tourist dollars into the local economy, some of which money (I understand) will be used to repay the city for its investment. 

If the volume of bike traffic on the East State Street bike lanes is any measure, then I am confident that the flow of funds back into the city coffers should begin very soon – or at least before the ice-caps melt entirely.

Barry Thomas

Charles Street

Athens

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