A new bike lane could have more people riding around town on two wheels.
NewTown Macon was a winner of last year’s Knight Cities Challenge with a proposal to install a 5-mile pop-up — or temporary — bike lane downtown.
The success of the project led the organization to install the city’s first mile-long bike lane.
NewTown now hopes to complete a 3-mile-long multi-neighborhood bike lane later this summer.
The lane would run on Walnut Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. to Rogers Avenue. The route connects the neighborhoods along Ingleside Avenue, Vineville Avenue, Pleasant Hill and downtown, according to NewTown President and Chief Executive Officer Josh Rogers.
“Walnut was part of the pop-up project, so we already had the experience knowing people needed to ride on Walnut Street,” said Rogers. “It has the potential to get a lot of people downtown.”
NewTown needs the Georgia Department of Transportation’s approval before the project can get rolling.
“It’s really hard to tell (when we’ll get started),” said Rogers. “I think we could be under construction within a couple of weeks...We’re completely at (the Department of Transportation’s) mercy.”
Once the project gets started, it should take less than a month to install, Rogers said.
Although the organization has not received a final construction quote, the bike lane is expected to be cost about $100,000.
Complete Streets Policy could bring even more bike lanes to Macon
Bike Walk Macon is working with commissioners Elaine Lucas and Larry Schlesinger to implement a Complete Streets Policy.
The policy would encourage streets to be better designed for everyone through the use of crosswalks, bike lanes, special bus lanes, public transportation stops and more.
“Regardless of age, ability, etc., you (should be able to) get around,” said Bike Walk Macon Executive Director Rachel Hollar. “Whenever there’s a new type of project, you would have to consider all forms of mobility rather than just designing streets for cars.”
Such a policy would require a project to be designed and budgeted to accommodate multiple uses, avoiding having to search for extra funds to meet these needs down the road.
The goal is to have a complete, connected transportation method around town, with more accommodations added each year.
Nearly all Macon-Bibb county commissioners expressed support for the Complete Streets Policy at Tuesday’s committee meeting, according to Hollar.