Carthage MO moving forward with plan to create 54 miles of bike lanes in the city - The Carthage Press - Carthage, MO

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

A project to paint bicycle lanes on the streets of Carthage got a boost on Monday when the bids by two companies came in much lower than the city and engineers expected. . . .

Brady Beckham, Carthage City Council member who has spearheaded the bike lanes project, said last year the bike lanes will serve several purposes, and they're not just for kids.

“They allow cheap transportation for people who either do not want or cannot afford a car to get to and from work,” Beckham said. “Kids should be able to ride school and do so safely and these are a way to help with that. Also kids and their parents should be able to get to our local parks without having to drive their car.”

A Missouri Department of Transportation grant paid 80 percent of the $10,000 cost to create the master bicycle lanes plan for the city

The plan, approved by the full council last year, calls for painting bike lanes, marked with lines, on some of Carthage's wider streets, such as Oak Street, Grand Avenue, Garrison Avenue.

Shared bike and auto lanes, marked by triangular chevrons, would be installed on other city streets.

The total three-phase plan called for 54.4 miles of bike lanes in the Carthage city limits. Similar bicycle lanes have already been installed on Joplin city streets.

MoBikeFed comment: When complete, the Carthage bicycle system will be one of the largest in the state--and even more so, for a city of its size.

As Carthage is now discovering, creating an on-road system of bicycle lanes and routes around the city is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to jump start bicycling in a community.

Most communities have a great deal of unused and under-used road capacity. Designing a bicycle route system using these streets improves community health, reduces traffic speed and related injuries, makes cities and neighborhoods more inviting and livable, and adds value and economic vitality to neighborhoods and commercial areas at very low cost.

See our recommendations for Missouri cities that want to become healthier and more inviting for walking and bicycling here:

http://mobikefed.org/biking-walking-vision-cities-counties

Creating an on-road bicycle route system of the type Carthage is now implementing is one of the easiest, least expensive, and most cost-effective steps Missouri cities can take.