Spring has finally arrived. The trees are blooming, leaves coming out and the flowers that have been hibernating all winter are alive again. What a beautiful time of year.
We have had a tough winter at the Trustee’s Office with so many persons out of work and needing our help. Although unemployment figures continue to be at record high levels, at the least the spring weather makes all of us feel better and energizes us at the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office to work even harder to help our clients.
One of the events that Spring brings is Bike to Work Month in May and Bike to Work Day, which is May 15 this year. On Bike to Work Day, I plan to ride my bicycle to the Trustee’s Office with several members of my staff.
We will be riding part of the RiverGreenway from Bloomingdale Park to Headwaters Park, which is just across Superior Street from our office. We wanted to ride the RiverGreenway this year to highlight the work being done in our community to make bicycle riding safer.
Many of our clients do not have vehicles or cannot afford to keep their cars filled with gas and running. These clients must find another way to get to job interviews or to the store, often biking, walking or riding the bus if they can afford a bus ticket. For Wayne Township residents without cars, having safe places to ride their bicycles or walk is critical.
Unfortunately, we have very limited funds at the Trustee’s Office to provide transportation assistance for our clients. We are able to help with bus passes for some clients who need transportation to medical appointments. We also can help newly-employed clients who need bus passes to get to work until they receive their first paycheck.
While Bike to Work Day is fun for me and my staff, it also serves to remind us what it must be like to be without a car. Getting to work, grocery shopping or visiting a sick friend can turn into a challenging hours-long trip when you have to walk, ride a bike or wait for the bus, especially in bad weather.
Without a car, you can’t just take a quick trip to the grocery store when you are in the mood for ice cream. Every trip takes time and planning.
Another transportation project that is being discussed in our community is bringing passenger train service back to Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne has a long history of passenger rail service until the trains stopped coming almost 20 years ago. Having passenger trains stop again at the Baker Street Train Station in the heart of Wayne Township is an exciting proposition.
The obvious advantage of bringing passenger trains back is for us to be able to get to Chicago, Cleveland or Indianapolis quickly and without the hassle of driving. Less obvious advantages would be bringing business to the area of the train station and creating jobs in Wayne Township.
Please remember your Mother on Mother’s Day, as well as those who helped and guided you throughout your life. And to all Mothers, have a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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