There are those who take the attitude that bicyclists should be driven off the roadways. I have been subjected to that sort of mentality myself, and it can be irrational. I mean, when people say I must leave a smooth rodway where there is plenty of room for everyone simply because there is an alternative road, no matter how wrecked , deplorable, and obstacle strewn its condition, it does give me pause to consider what underlying motives people might have. I have had to put up with such attitudes. Well, all I can think of to say right now is this. With the way the economy is going in the USA, many of these anti-bicycle-on-the-road people might just end up pedaling along on two wheels. If they find themselves out there on the road, let us hear their opinions then.
If a cross country dedicated path reinforced their perceptions, it would be one negative consequence. Surely, having such paths would not be all perfect and absolutely without fault or consequence, but what in history ever has been? I would not want to abandon a plan of such paths because of reinforcing people's negative perceptions any more than I would want to abandon cycling because some people have negative opinions about my right to use the roadways.