Valdosta's newest transportation plan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta's newest transportation plan

March 8, 2007

Valdosta - As the owner of the Get Active Store in Valdosta, Todd Smoot has seen many of his customers become less active as the city grows.  "I know a number of individuals who use to but don't wish too because they fear for their safety from their neighborhood to where they work," Smoot says.

He says if the City was more bike and walker friendly, they'd dust off their old bikes and tennis shoes.  "If the right kind of paths were put in people would be able to utilize these paths to get to work."

That's exactly what the city is hoping to become, by creating a safe and interconnected bike and pedestrian path.  "This will be the first pedestrian/bike path in Valdosta-Lowndes County so it will be an integral part of our transportation planning process," says Dan McGee, Transportation Planning Coordinator for the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

It will serve two main purposes.  "A walking and bike transportation system that has destinations," says Valdosta Mayor John Fretti.

Like Colonial Mall and Downtown.  It will also serve for recreational use.  "In the county, the chairman wants to connect all the county parks which is 100 miles," he adds.

Once the project is complete, they hope to continue to integrate the bike and pedestrian plan to all city operations as Valdosta continues to grow.

All with the input of the people who will use it most.  "These people living in the community and walking and biking have a little better respective on where those problems are then our consultants that are from out of town,"

City Officials are currently studying routes and costs to get the project up and running as soon as possible.  The Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization will be holding a meeting March 15th at the City Hall Annex from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM to get input on those routes from the community.

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