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Pedaling forward

Posted: February 7, 2012 11:15 a.m.
Updated: February 8, 2012 5:00 a.m.

So where do we go from here? How much are we willing to spend without the help of a third party to improve our city and county? Can we afford to maintain what we build? What kind of recreational/tourism improvements will make a lasting impact on all of the citizens not just one group?

Whatever it is, it needs to benefit the equestrians, the medical professionals, the elderly, the young, the elite, the middle class, the poor, the preservationist, the historian, the businessman and the politician (forgive me if I missed anyone). Whatever it is, it needs to be connected with tourism if we are to use the hospitality funds to pay for it.

There have been proposals ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other. There is the Colonial Williamsburgesque approach where Camden would be primarily a historical destination. There is the equine vision of horse trails feeding from the hunt country to the city center. And most recently, the working family’s recreational retreat as the center of Camden daily life (yes, I admit it, I am in that group). 

If one thing would support all interests and unite all groups, we would have our answer. What if that something is as simple as bicycles? Imagine as you drive into Camden you see Historic Camden on the right with an attractive bike kiosk. Bikes and bike trails could take visitors on a multitude of adventures. Kiosk stations at various points in Camden could allow for short or extensive tours. Downtown streets with safe bike paths and signals would allow residents and visitors alike to wake up and pedal down to the country store, bakery or coffee shop. The possibilities are endless.

And let’s face it -- we are in the country to enjoy country living. Camdenites like the outdoors and enjoy the bounty of nature. Why not build on the resources we have and make Camden not only stand apart but stand proudly? Preserving a jewel of a town may need some forward thinking, compromise and perhaps … some forward pedaling.    

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