Jonathan Commanday of Milton knows it's silly, but he routinely loads up his Suburban with bikes for his family of five, then drives to the Big Creek Greenway in Alpharetta.
"It's absurd but there's nowhere that's safe in Milton," he said. "You can try to bike in Milton but it's dangerous. The roads are narrow, sidewalks are nonexistent, and when my kids are out, my wife and I are afraid for their lives. We feel like we're waiting to get splattered."
That could change.
Milton leaders have embraced a long-range plan that would construct about 48.6 miles of multiuse paths, spider-webbing throughout the city for bicyclists, runners, walkers and even equestrians. Eventually, it could tie in with trails at other cities, creating a regional network. "That would be great," Commanday said. "I would ride to work. I'd be using it daily."
Guided by a Georgia Tech professor, a citizens committee made up of runners, bicyclists, equestrians and walkers worked out several routes that would connect various destinations, such as schools, parks, shopping centers and subdivisions.
"A developer told us that the No. 1 amenity that people ask for is trails," said Brian Maloney, a marathon runner and chairman of the committee. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if kids could walk or bike to school? What if the trail connects with the grocery store and the community next door?"
The committee also tried to incorporate existing gravel roads, which added several miles to the trail system.
"One of the important things about Milton is its rural character," Maloney said. "We wanted to take advantage of that."
They settled on a five-phase program, each phase about two miles long. Each phase would cost about $1 million, which the new city can't currently afford.
But City Council member Tina D'Aversa said she's optimistic that construction will start in a couple of years.
"There's a huge number of grants for something like this," she said. "I think it will be in a relatively short period."