Keep working toward solution for horse travel

Because few of us at the Appeal are equestrians, it hadn't really occurred to us before to give horses the same kind of priority as bicyclists and pedestrians when it comes to urging more access for non-motorized travel.

But it seems like a heck of an idea.

We would like to see Carson City become a leader in alternative forms of transportation, but it has a long way to go. The focus for two decades has been on a bypass - a way to get cars and trucks through town and ease already-congested arteries.

The freeway is going to be a reality, although it will still be a few years before it can accomplish its purpose of moving traffic all the way from Lakeview on the north to the Spooner junction on the south. At the same time, some progress is being made toward biking and walking trails, both in conjunction with the freeway and separately in other parts of town.

The roadblock in front of horse-riders is the freeway itself. No provision has been made for getting horses across it. An overpass is an obvious - and expensive - solution.

The Federal Highway Administration makes funding available for wildlife crossings, but horse overpasses aren't common. Yet they do exist, like one across Interstate 75 in Florida. And a massive one - 150 feet wide, vegetated to look like a forest - is being discussed for wildlife across Interstate 70 in Colorado.

So while it may be a difficult project, and will no doubt require a federal grant to get done, it's not completely far-fetched.

Carson City should take the lead in finding creative solutions to getting people from one side of town to the other without firing up the family auto. We've long been advocates of pedestrian and bicycle paths, and we support the work being done by groups such as Muscle Powered and GROW.

If there is to be another crossing in the southern end of town, at Valley View Drive, it ought to accommodate pedestrians, bicycles and horses.


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