Regardless of your opinion of the Federal stimulus package, it's hard to complain about the new bike trails it financed in Kalamazoo.
This summer's work on the "Northwest Portage Bikeway" connects an existing trail segment in the Haverhill neighborhood to the Portage Creek Bicentennial trail, eliminating the need to fight traffic on Romence Rd. It's now a more pleasant and safer ride.
This season's progress on the Kalamazoo Valley River Trail is even more impressive. A new 5-mile section of trail, running from downtown Kalamazoo to the Kalamazoo Nature Center is almost complete. I rode to the Nature Center this afternoon on the brand new asphalt path. Only one section, of maybe 100 yards, was still under construction. [update: now completed] The new trail runs along the Kalamazoo River from Mayor's Riverfront park (home of the Kalamazoo Kings), across the river to Parchment then back, behind Markin Glen park, and currently ends at the Nature Center. (Trail construction continues on the section north of the Nature Center. [update: completed) The trail passes through traces of Kalamazoo's industrial heritage and into quiet woodlands. I think this is going to be a very popular ride.
On Saturday October 9th, 2010 you can participate in the KVRT Fall Color Cruise starting at 10:30 am at Markin Glen County Park.
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.