Letter: Bike use does not have to change character of Barrington Hills

As the long-time manager of the Barrington Hills Bicycle Club (“BBC”), an area resident, and former Barrington Hills resident, I have observed very closely the growth of regional cycling.

Cycling continues to greatly gain in popularity everywhere in America, even while cyclists and motorists are grappling to apply the concepts of mutual respect and personal accountability in our shared use of the roads. This bumpy process is not an easy one, but we should not be making it even harder.

We are encouraged that responsible leaders in Barrington Hills are exploring practical responses to the challenges and benefits of acknowledging alternative transportation road uses. Cyclists, runners, and other non-motorized users are a fact of life there and will only grow in numbers every year. The village’s Comprehensive Plan reflects this reality.

We at the BBC are united with our neighbors in Barrington Hills in hoping that the essential, beautiful character of the village does not change. We also hope that the village will do what is necessary to put itself on a firmer financial track that enhances its livability instead of threatening everything and everybody to suit a tiny minority. Causing the many to pay more taxes each year to protect the perquisites of the very few is not sustainable.

I have personally extended an offer to work with Barrington Hills officials and qualified transportation professionals to explore meaningful options. In the meantime, I call upon village leaders and police to help discourage the trend of violent confrontations and verbal intimidation by their residents against peaceful cyclists.

Bill Gotfryd

Lake Barrington

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