Jacksonville council considers resolution showing support for cycling community
by Laura Gaddy
Jul 08, 2013 | 3277 views |  0 comments | 110 110 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE -- The Jacksonville City Council on Monday was handed a proposed resolution that, if passed, will declare the city’s intentions to develop streets and neighborhoods to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.

The document lays out steps the council could support to make the city's streets more accessible to people traveling by bike or on foot, but it does not obligate the city to take any specific measures, said Council President Mark Jones, during a work session Monday.

“All this is saying is that we’re going to look into it,” Jones said. “It doesn’t say that we’re going to do it.”

The proposed resolution states the city would support painting more signs on streets to remind drivers to share the road. It also states the city would incorporate bike lanes into plans for new roads, and city leaders would encourage developers to build subdivisions that include access for cyclists and pedestrians.

The document is supported by the seven-member Jacksonville Bicycle Advisory Committee, which was reauthorized by a vote during a meeting that followed Monday’s work session. The committee, originally established in May 2011, is responsible for expanding access to the Chief Ladiga Trail by promoting development that will accommodate cyclists in the city.

Jones, who was appointed to the Bicycle Advisory Committee, said he thinks the resolution presented to the council on Monday would be good for the city.

The measure is a necessary step if the council wants to show formal support for the cycling community in Jacksonville, officials said. But not every council member is ready to support it.

Councilman Jerry Parris said he wants to hear from the community to learn if residents support the measure before he decides whether he will support it.

Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith said the resolution, if passed, would be a guideline for the council to follow when it makes plans for the future. He also said the recommendations in the document would not be followed without prior council approval.

“It’s just saying that we’re going to commit. It’s not saying exactly what we’re going to do,” Smith said. “It’s more of a philosophical thing than anything else.”

Smith said the council will have time to review the document now so they will be ready to vote on it during a later meeting.

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.

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