Shelby County hosts workshops on bicycle and pedestrian plan

Shelby County hosted their first public open house workshop on the preparation of a bicycle and pedestrian plan for the county at Chelsea City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. The county plans to incorporate accommodations for walking and bicycling into their existing transportation projects.

The purpose of the workshop was to review existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and receive feedback from Shelby County residents about the plan and existing facilities.

“What we’re explaining tonight are the existing conditions in the county as they relate to the level of service that could be accommodated for pedestrians and bicycles,” Shelby County Chief Engineer Scott Holladay said.

“We’ll get the public’s input, and then develop a plan to address their needs. This will produce a plan that will hopefully show where improvements are most needed, and where they’re feasible.”

Representatives from Sain Associates Inc. and Sprinkle Consulting explained the county’s current conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, discussed ideas and answered questions.

Residents who attended were encouraged to take a survey, which allowed residents to express their views on the plans and existing conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.

The survey is also available here.

Resident Tom Opie said he would like to see the county improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

“I’m a big cyclist, and I really enjoy riding my bike. Having lived all around the United States, we in Alabama are really far behind in alternative means of transportation. I’m very curious about what we’re going to be doing and where we’re going with this plan.” Opie said.

Opie said increasing accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists would allow residents to live a healthier lifestyle, which will improve the county’s overall quality of life.

An additional open house workshop will be held on from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12 at the Shelby County Services Building in Pelham. The content of both meetings will be the same.

Holladay said the county will begin to form a plan in late spring or early summer, after all the necessary data is gathered.

Anyone who has questions or comments about the projects can contact Holladay by calling 669-3880 or sending an email to sholladay@shelbyed.com.