Design and construction of a particular path depends on its intended usage and projected user population. Most are constructed of asphalt and measure 8-to-10 feet wide, generally considered the standard width for bike paths. Because of Bernards’ relatively low population and limited activity, Messina was comfortable using more narrow paths in some locations and, in fact, found them preferable because they create less impervious surface and motorists would be less likely to confuse them for roads.
Most of the pathway system has been located or planned on property that the township either owns or has right-of-way for a path. In some cases, the township will need to acquire property. When completed, the paths will provide a township-owned system located entirely on publicly owned property.
When asked for suggestions he would offer other interested communities, Messina said “just do it,” adding “local people know the community and they are the best ones to come up with a plan.” When forming a plan, Messina suggested coming up with a priority system and taking “baby steps,” noting that he had presented his plan as a 10-year project which was “was more palatable to the governing body.” He also suggested taking advantage of developer agreements. Large sections of the Bernards pathway