Zionsville Times Sentinel

May 21, 2014

Summer study groups do the Legislature’s legwork

Maureen Hayden
CNHI Statehouse Bureau

---- — Back before the recession of 2008 hit Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels launched an ambitious initiative called Hoosiers on the Move.

The program aimed to get Indiana's out-of-shape residents exercising while also boosting tourism. Its primary goal was to have a usable trail within a 15-minute drive of every resident by 2016.

We're close. More than 3,200 miles of scenic biking and hiking trails are now open to the public, and the state Department of Natural Resources estimates more than 97 percent of Hoosiers live less than 8 miles from a trail.

The problem: Too many people are afraid to use them.

Lack of security and maintenance along some trails, due in part to cuts in local and state funding, are frightening away would-be patrons. So, this summer, legislators are going to look at what's needed to remedy the problem.

The state of the state's recreational trails is just one of many issues that state lawmakers will take up as 22 legislative committees and commissions meet to lay groundwork for bills that may be introduced in next year's session.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.