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Jackson is working to make the city more friendly for walking and biking


The city of Jackson is working on a plan to make it easier to get around town by bicycle or on foot.

“I tell people that I'm not a cyclist. I'm just a guy that I live about a mile away from a dollar general. And I'm just kind of disgusted because I can't even ride there because the sidewalk doesn't go all the way down, no bike lanes," said Allan Hess of the Jackson Bicycle Coalition.

Many people in Jackson voiced their opinions when the city asked for input on the Jackson bicycle, pedestrian, and greenways master plan.

Liesel Goethert the transportation planner for KCI Technologies INC. said, “Some folks cannot drive, don't have the ability to or cannot afford to… walking and biking is a mode of transportation for all communities, but it's also a form of recreation."

The plan the city is working on aims to connect people, schools, parks and commercial areas all across the city

Goethert said, “Providing a low stress connection for people of all ages and abilities to be able to walk from all the way from the southern tip to the northern tip.”

Allan Hess is a teacher in Jackson who is petitioning for Jackson to be more friendly for walking and biking. He said, “we’re helping just regular people, like, for example, the kids that are having class. You know, how many of them actually want to go to a job, but, you know, they don't have transportation because cars are just so expensive, especially with gas, now.”

The mayor has started a new program to get ideas from the neighborhoods,

“Tactical Urbanism, which is a new program that the mayor initiated, which is where a neighborhood can get together and look at maybe some temporary improvements that they could envision to see if it works for helping traffic in their neighborhoods or helping pedestrians move around in the neighborhood," said Stan Pilant.

Pilant is in charge of planning for the city of Jackson, “the most important thing in that plan was that we establish a network, an overall network so that we can program money each year and we start just going down the list of priorities and building that network out. So, our ultimate goal is to have a trail that would take you from the middle fort recreation area to the north all the way down to Bemis on the south," he said.

Pilant says the mayor has pledged 1 million dollars of the budget for the bicycle, pedestrian, and greenways

We'll keep you updated on the plan when it's presented to the city council on Tuesday.

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