Jackson moving forward with biking and walking improvements
JACKSON, TENN (WNBJ)-
Today the Jackson City Council was presented the Jackson bicycle, pedestrian, and greenways master plan
“A plan is only as good as its implementation. So, we're looking to look at the recommendations that came out of the plan for improvements," said Stan Pilant director of planning for Jackson.
The plan is to make the city more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists by completing and extending the network of sidewalks and bike lanes.
Pilant said, “Ultimately, we could see a trail that would go from Bemis to the south all the way up to the middle fork recreation area.”
Allan Hess just wants to be able to get from his house to the store, "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”
Allan is happy to see the city working to make things more accessible.
Some projects are listed as priorities: Pleasant Plains Extension is one of the roads that could see a drastic change in the city's new plan. To my left, his union university and to the right are the walking and biking trails. Now, as you can see, there's not a clear way to get from one side to the other. That's something that the city is looking to address.
"Right now, there's four lanes of capacity, but it doesn't seem like at times that that that all those lanes are needed. We're going to be looking at maybe doing a temporary improvement where we would take two lanes and turn it into a bike or a pedestrian way and see if the capacity of two lanes is enough to carry the traffic," Pilant said.
Things will really get rolling on the plan when the budget comes around again.
“I'm presenting to the council for our next year's budget, which will start on July one. $1,000,000 just for pedestrian and bike infrastructure. And so, you'll see in the next fiscal year we'll start making those investments from a city standpoint," Mayor Scott Conger said.
Progress won’t wait until the budget is set in July.
The Tactical Urbanism project has already begun Pilant says, “We'll be just working with neighborhood groups and looking at ways that they can approach tactical urbanism and see what improvements they can propose for their neighborhoods.”
Mayor Conger said, “What it is, is really putting the equity back into residents.”
You can find the link to submit a tactical urbanism application on https://jacksontn.gov/residents/tacticalurbanism
The city will be seeking grant opportunities to help fund the sidewalks, bikes lanes, green ways and other projects.