WASTE WATCHBike Paths
from Eyewitness News Online
Public Money Used To Create Lanes For Cyclists
September 3, 2013
Technically, bicyclists already have a place to ride in West Virginia. it's called the road. Cyclists have as much legal right to be on the highway as motorists. But in reality, bikes on roads can present safety concerns so accommodating cyclists is generally looked upon as a good idea.
That was one of the reasons for the bike path on Route 60. A combination of state and federal funds paid for the project, along with paving in Amandaville and a South Charleston Park and Ride. The West Virginia Division of Highways says the combined work cost 3.5 million dollars. 2.9 million was federal stimulus money. The remaining 600-thousand came from the state.
Although the Route 60 bike lane has been criticized for it's placement on a highway that can be dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, the DOH says it is a step in the right direction.
"We were getting calls and e-mails from folks who were riding bicycles in that area anyway," Brent Walker, W.Va. Division of Highways. "So, I know it's been under a lot of criticism but it's better than it was and it really does allow the folks to get from St. Albans to as far as South Charleston."
Walker says studies show West Virginia is 46th in the nation in making space for bicycles on the road. He says improving that ranking could make for healthier lifestyles and a greener environment. But even without bike lanes, drivers are encouraged to share the road with cyclists so everyone can travel safely.
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