EDITORIAL: Bike trail stitches Indiana, Illinois together

2013-10-31T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Bike trail stitches Indiana, Illinois together nwitimes.com
October 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Halloween is generally considered a spooky time, but let's look at something cheerful instead. Sunday's Golden Spoke ceremony at the Indiana-Illinois state line showed the border need not be a barrier.

The ceremony officially recognized the creation of the bistate Pennsy Greenway bike trail between Lansing and Munster.

The trail's name is derived from the Pennsylvania Railroad, which once ran trains along that route. This region is notable in the biking community for its successful rails-to-trails efforts.

And now the region will be notable for this bistate trail as well.

"It's amazing to see two government entities across state lines do this," said Frank Criswell, of Munster. The avid bike rider attended Sunday's ceremony.

"Lansing and Munster will be included in a handful of towns throughout the United States where the actual trail name carries over a state line," Lan-Oak Park District Director John Wilson said.

"It was a good project, and everybody saw the value into the trail, both social and economically, for their communities," Wilson said.

But the trail is not just between Lansing and Munster, which both benefit from its construction. In Lansing, the trail joins the 450-mile Burnham Greenway/Grand Illinois system. In Indiana, it connects to the Erie Lackawanna Trail and Veterans Memorial Trail in Crown Point, where it joins up with the American Discovery Trail, which crosses the United States.

That shows the significance of Sunday's rite being called a Golden Spoke ceremony. It brings to mind the Golden Spike ceremony in 1869 that united railroads so they would span the continent.

Sunday's ceremony also shows state lines don't need to be a barrier to progress. That's an inspiration for any number of projects, not just for two-wheeled transportation.

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