Approve 6 for bikeway, ‘green economy’

Approve 6 for bikeway, ‘green economy’

On behalf of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, we are pleased to partner with other Rhode Island communities, community and environmental organizations to urge voters to approve Question 6 Green Economy Bond on Nov. 8.

This $35 million bond issue when approved by voters will be used to support our local parks and recreation, open spaces, environmental projects and completion of the bikeways in the state.

The Green Economy Bond request would provide:

• $8 million for state parks and land conservation

• $9 million for local parks, recreation and open space

• $8 million for clean water and brownfields clean up

• $10 million for developing bike paths statewide

For the Blackstone River Valley approval of the Green Economy Bond will benefit the standard of living, quality of life and sustainability of our historic Blackstone River Valley and our communities.

In particular, for our region, a portion of the $10 million requested for statewide bike path development would go towards the completion of the Blackstone River Bikeway, a key corridor that would support community recreation and tourism development in our new National Historical Park.

For our Blackstone River Valley communities, there would be funds allocated from bonds for vital parks and recreation development and maintenance that will help in supporting healthier neighborhoods. Plus, for preserving and protecting natural resources, funds would target polluted locations and help to provide a sustainable environment.

There appears to be strong public support for approving this Green Economy Bond, according to the Oct. 19 public opinion poll from Bryant University, noting that 66 percent of all likely voters favor Question 6. Plus, in past bond issues for the environment, there has always been strong voter approval. The results of those past investments are in the places and spaces we all experience through our leisure and recreation.

We now ask and encourage the citizens of Rhode Island to support approval of the Green Economy Bond, as it will offer long-term benefits for us and generations to come.

Robert D. Billington

Pawtucket

Billington is president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council