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Letter of Support for Swift River Bridge Project

By May 9, 2016Our Position

Doug Beck
Outdoor Recreation Supervisor
Bureau of Parks and Lands
124 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Dear Mr. Beck,
On behalf of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, I am writing to support the Rumford/Mexico Active Community Environment (ACE) Team’s application for Recreational Trail Program funding to build a bridge over the Swift River.  We have been involved with local active transportation and recreation efforts throughout Oxford County, including in Rumford/Mexico, since October 2012 and we have long-standing, trusted relationships with a number of members of the ACE Team.
The proposed bridge will connect a residential neighborhood near Mexico’s downtown with the Swift River Walking Trail, Hosmer Athletic Complex, and Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. This will create a valuable link for biking and walking between the two towns. It will welcome and invite more high school students to walk or bike to school and keep them safer. It could encourage more use of the many fields and playing courts at the athletic complex and the popular walking trail, leveraging the value of those assets to the community.  
As you know, Oxford County struggles with low physical activity rates, which are linked with low access to physical activity resources. Projects like the Swift River Bridge will increase the access to walking and biking facilities in the area that will help improve health and wellness in the region. This project will support biking and walking as healthy behaviors for all community members, and especially for high school students who could build physical activity into their daily schedules with an active commute.
As Advocacy Manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, I am committed to helping promote the Swift River Bridge project through our website and social media outlets to our members and supporters in order to increase awareness and use of the bridge.
Thank you very much for considering this proposal for RTP funding from the Rumford/Mexico Active Community Environment Team. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine supports the proposal and believes it will significantly benefit the local community and the overall health and well-being of the people of Oxford County.
Sincerely,
Abby King
Advocacy Manager