New ALDOT plan aims to improve pedestrian, bicycle access

New ALDOT plan aims to improve pedestrian, bicycle access

MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Transportation wants people's two cents when looking at the safety around two wheels.

They're hoping to roll out a new plan to make the state more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Anytime Lula Albert relies on non-motorized transportation it can be risky.

"I live in a rural area so walking along the pathways that I have is just staying off the main highway," said Albert, a concerned pedestrian in attendance at Montgomery's meeting Wednesday evening.

Albert says she also notices a lack of access, especially in minority communities.

"There are a lot of neighborhoods that don't have any sidewalks that should have sidewalks, even in the city," said Albert.

ALDOT's new Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan hopes to address these concerns by creating a strategic framework.

"So that road designers, can look, when they're developing projects, can look into the best way to integrate pedestrian and bicycle travel into the state transportation network," said Allison Green, an ALDOT Spokeswoman.

If it were up to tri-athlete Malcolm Byrd, there would be more bike lanes and signs.

"You at least have a fighting chance, if somebody's not paying attention and you're running and you're running against them, you can jump out of the way but that's the main challenge is inattentive drivers," said Byrd of Montgomery Multisport.

ALDOT's plan shows the greatest bicycling demand in places like the Capitol City and other areas around Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Mobile and Huntsville.

"Where there are opportunities for local cities and governments to make pedestrian facilities, or introduce a bike path that intersect with a state route, that's where people will see the plan come into place," said Green.

The bicycle and pedestrian proposal utilizes three core concepts, public safety, access and economic development.

Green says this is about maximizing the limited funds available for these types of projects - the public comment period ends in July.

Another public meeting will be held Thursday in Troy from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

You can provide public comment on the proposed plan at the Alabama Department of Transportation Southeast Region Troy Office at 299 Elba Highway.

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