ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - Three miles of bike paths and sidewalks are set to be paved in the City of Zachary. Residents say they are pleased to see city leaders taking steps to help make the community safer and healthier.
Triathlete, Lianne Crawford, enjoys riding her bike. It's part of her training, but it's also something she says her family enjoys doing too. "We ride a lot. I probably ride three or four days a week," Crawford said.
While she would love to go for a spin in Zachary, where she lives, Crawford says leaving her subdivision is too risky. "It's really unsafe. There are no paths to ride on, so we go out to St. Francisville," Crawford said.
Crawford, who recently moved to Zachary from Canada, says riding was a big adjustment. "In Canada, when we were riding, we could get out with them all the time because it's primarily safe for my kids," Crawford said.
The City of Zachary is making progress in that area. Mayor David Amrhein and EBR Metro Councilman Trae Welch have mapped out three miles of roadway that will be paved for cyclists and pedestrians. The $750,000 project is being funded by a half cent sales tax for road improvements.
"It was an opportunity for us to do two major streets," Amrhein said.
One of those streets is Fennwood Dr. A five foot wide bike lane will be paved there from Hwy. 64 to Rollins Rd. The second path will be located on East Mount Pleasant Rd., from the intersection of Hwy. 64 and 964 to Barnett Rd. Amrhein said the roads were chosen with bigger plans in mind.
"You don't want a sidewalk to nowhere. You want that sidewalk to mean something where you can eventually connect the whole city, and that's our goal," Amrhein said.
While the new paths won't be quite long enough for Crawford to train on, she says she is looking forward to exploring safer routes in the city with her children. "I think it's a step in the right direction for Zachary as a community," Crawford said.
The pathways are expected to be finished by May 1, just in time for the summer. Amrhein says he also plans to recommend that the speed limit be lowered from 45 mph to 40 or 35 mph. He is also hoping to have traffic lights installed at the intersection of Hwy. 64 and Mount Pleasant Rd. to make it safer for pedestrians to cross.