Dragonfly Trails is the growing network of biking and walking trails around Columbus, GA. I myself use them daily and I can attest that these are the real deal. The trails are accessible, well maintained, and cover a vast portion of the city.
Like many bicycle riders, I’m usually quick to notice any fault with bicycle infrastructure. So when I say that Dragonfly Trails are great at what they do, it’s high praise!
Electric City Life has an interview with Becca Zajac, the executive director of the Dragonfly Trails Network. Her comments offer some insights into the long-term goals of the trails. For example:
There are a ton of people in our community who cab’t afford a vehicle or can’t rely on Metra. But what if they could walk or ride from their neighborhood to work and the trail is close and safe? That’s connecting people who could be in the workforce. That would do amazing things for our community.
We have some great trails. We need more. I would love to see more people using trails for every aspect of their life. The second part of that is we want to see businesses popping up along the trails. The MLK Trail is the perfect example of what could become like the BeltLine. It has neighborhoods and businesses already there but how do we get more businesses to open along the boulevard?
We’re still a while away from these goals, but the city has already made huge progress in the past five years. Zajac mentions other communities, like Portland and Atlanta, as models for Columbus to follow. I would say that Columbus’ trails themselves are now at a point where they can serve as a model for other towns starting their own trails.
I recommend reading the whole interview. It’s a great look into the kind of leadership that can create positive change in a community.