Proposal would add bike paths through Troy

Published 11:08 pm Friday, April 25, 2014

Seeing the City of Troy working on roads tends to bother Greg Skaggs, but only because he says roads are the only necessary lanes for transportation.
“I am always a little upset that they didn’t include bike lanes,” he said.
Skaggs is from Oklahoma City where dedicated bike lanes are common. In fact, he used to bike 25 miles to work when he lived there. Now that he works at Troy University, commutes via car. “I learned very quickly that the roads are very unsafe to ride,” he said.
Skaggs was one of two Troy residents who attended the Troy Planning Commission meeting this week to support a proposed bike line system for the system.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Melissa Sanders presented a draft of the city’s bike map to the commission at Thursday’s meeting.
She said bike paths had been a goal of the city for a long time, with work beginning last August to plot locations for bike racks and routes for bike lanes.
The routes would start with general points of interest in Troy, such as Bicentennial Park, the downtown Square and the public library. They would be marked, at this time, with “Share the road” signs letting motorists know the roads also would be used as bike paths.
“It’s not changing any of the infrastructure at this time,” Sanders said of the plan. “It’s going to be signage letting motorists know they may have to share the roads with cyclists,” she said.
The plan also includes mapped estimates of motor traffic along the routes.
Some commission members raised concerns about the sharing of roads between bikes and motor vehicles.
Board member William Griswald suggested adding an age limit for those who could use the bike paths. “I think we should have age requirements on all streets designated a bike route,” he said, and he suggested that no one under 13 be allowed on bike lanes.
Others on the board suggested adult supervision for children using bicycles.
“Basically, you’re fixing to say no kid can ride their bikes to the Franklin ball fields,” said board member Ross Jinright.
Jack Norton found it ironic that the city closed a park because it was too dangerous and was now considering bike route that would run right along it on Three Notch Street.
Board member Bill Hopper recommended tabling the discussion until Sanders could check with other communities that added bike paths and see how they handled the risks and liabilities of children using it.
Sanders said the city would check with other communities to see how they address age concerns.
The commission did not set a time to review the plan again.

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