The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 19, 2013

Our View: That's what we want

The Joplin Globe

— The announcement in Joplin earlier this week that 20 more miles of trails will be built to help connect the south and central sections of the city with the north was great news.

So was news that a master plan for a proposed bicycle-pedestrian system was unveiled in Nevada.

And in Crawford County, Kan., where a recent audit of nonmotorized transportation possibilities in Girard and Pittsburg underscored the need for more trails and bike paths, residents are making all kinds of plans.

Here’s to healthier communities — and healthier economies.

There is a direct correlation between cities and towns that are building trails and those that are attracting the new jobs.

In Columbia, which now has 50 miles of trails and bicycle paths, IBM brought in 800 high-paying jobs. The company even noted those features as a key reason for locating there.

The good news comes just a few days in advance of Monday’s Earth Day. More trails will mean fewer vehicles on the road, more people walking and biking, and hopefully more trees and shrubs lining the way.

Hand-in-hand with the trails announcements comes word that Joplin Elks Lodge No. 501 and Community Support Services of Missouri will work Saturday to build gardens that will be accessible for Joplin residents with disabilities.

The infrastructure of a town should consider its residents.

That’s what the projects will accomplish. We applaud all those who have pushed for these changes.