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MDOT To Consider Bike Lanes On New Roads

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 Apr 2011 11:41am | comments

Mississippians will soon have some more healthy options for getting around town. The Mississippi Department of Transportation is now looking for ways to build more biking and walking lanes. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports.

MDOT now plans to look for ways to add biking or walking lanes to any new construction or repair in areas that have a high demand for recreational facilities.

MDOT commissioner Dick Hall says it is inexpensive to widen a road and add a bike line during initial construction.

"In fact we have a state law now that when you are driving, you have to give the bicyclist three feet. So I think it is our responsibility to make sure the three feet are there," Hall said.

The City of Hernando in northern Mississippi has made a major effort to build more bike lanes.

Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson says the lanes encourage people to be more healthy.

"People need the healthy options and a healthy atmosphere. And if you don't have bike lanes or sidewalks, that atmosphere is not there," Johnson said.

Johnson says he has seen a big increase in the number of bicyclist since they started adding more lanes.

Hernando is in the process of applying for funding to build a bike path between two city parks. MDOT has already taken part in helping fund bike trails around the state.

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