Brookings has a nice recreational bike trail crossing the south half of town. This new extension serves business as much as pleasure. A bike trail isn't just a luxury: it can be a way for people to get to work. Ask Kevin Brady: even on cold days, biking workers are happy workers!
Right now, the only way to pedal to the Swiftel Center or Daktronics is to brave the multi-lane madness of Sixth Street past Wal-Mart and across the I-29 overpass, perhaps the least bike-friendly pavement in Brookings. Providing a dedicated bike route under the Interstate will make traveling safer for cyclists and drivers alike.
Discussing Madison's proposed bike trail extension to Lake Herman, landowner David Pitts has argued industry and recreation shouldn't mix. Brookings's bike plans suggest otherwise. Brookings is laying bike paths to the doorstep of its convention center and big industrial employers. Brookings recognizes that a bike path is essential infrastructure just like a street.
* * *Madison should connect with Brookings's more progressive thinking. Heck, maybe Madison should just connect with Brookings! Imagine if we made a deal with Brookings to lay a bike trail kittywampus from Brookings down to the Brookings Country Club, around Lake Campbell, slant to Nunda or Rutland (preference, anyone?), and right on to Main Street Madison. Maybe we could even make a big triangle with Dell Rapids. A nice prairie loop like that could be a bike tourist's dream!