‘Legacy Initiative’ will benefit city in the long run

The World Equestrian Games, which come to Lexington in 2010, gives the city a tremendous opportunity to grow and enhance itself in ways that will benefit Lexington long after the games end.

With the announcement of the Third Street revitalization and the new bike trail with mini-parks as the two projects for the 2010 Legacy Initiative, city leaders seem to be capitalizing on these opportunities.

Lexington will profit from the tourism the games will attract, and while thinking of ways to make the city more attractive to those visiting, it only makes sense to consider initiatives that Lexington residents can still take advantage of in the future.

The revitalization of Third Street is long overdue. Lexington has both the crowds and the atmosphere to create a lively and enjoyable downtown experience, and everyone involved in choosing to revitalize Third Street should be commended for the decision.

Projects, such as the bike path that will run downtown to the Kentucky Horse Park, have benefits that citizens will enjoy in numerous ways.

Not only will this project both showcase Lexington’s beautiful surroundings to tourists and serve as an attraction that city residents can enjoy for many years afterward, but the idea also encourages activities that are healthy and environmentally friendly — something that every city should be working to embrace.

Rick Gersony, GreenLex.org director and the man who submitted the idea for the bike paths, said, “We need a place to bike and look at horses,” the Kernel reported Nov. 30. Gersony is absolutely right, and so were the Lexington residents who selected his project as one to pursue.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and the more than 200 members of the community who helped develop ideas should also be commended for the steps they have taken to ensure that the city will be prepared for the upcoming event.

The World Equestrian Games are the biggest opportunity residents have to showcase their city, as well as capitalize on the opportunity to improve the quality and atmosphere of the area.

As the Legacy Initiative continues to work on ways to implement these projects, those involved must remember that making the initiatives worthwhile to residents after the games leave must be a top priority.

Lexington does not need attractions that will cease to operate successfully once the spike in tourism dies down.

It’s encouraging to see that steps have been taken to make sure this happens, and we hope that it is just the beginning of a continuing process.