Opelika’s City Council will discuss the adoption of a bike and pedestrian pathways plan at its Tuesday worksession that’s been years in the making.
The plan, which was developed and compiled by engineering consulting firm Sain Associates out of Birmingham, presents potential projects for the city to consider that would significantly add to the amount of bike paths and sidewalks Opelika has to offer.
“The city maintains about 216 miles of roadway, and of that 216 miles, about 15 percent of those roads have sidewalks while about 4 percent include bicycle facilities,” Mayor Gary Fuller said. “I’m excited about the possibilities of what this [plan] will mean to our community.”
The Opelika Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan outlines 51 potential projects stretching out over 49.7 miles with estimated total costs of over $61 million dollars, and while the adoption of the plan itself is only the beginning, Fuller said he is excited about what those changes could mean to the city and its residents.
“This will give us a blueprint to use over time as we continue to expand our bicycle and pedestrian pathways,” Fuller said. “It’ll provide a way for someone to get to point A to point B without a motorized vehicle, and more and more folks like to bike. Of course, safety is an important part of that too … and we need to have pathways that are safe.”
Coincidently, the council’s discussion of the accessibility plan will precede a proclamation declaring May as Bike Month in Opelika, the mayor said.
“I think more and more of us are interested in ways of getting from point A to point B that don’t leave any kind of carbon footprint, and the two best ways are on a bicycle or by foot,” Fuller said.