25 people attend Augusta Regional Transportation Study meeting in Evans

Connecting existing bicycle and pedestrian networks across the Augusta region is key to a plan unveiled at a meeting Thursday.

The Augusta Regional Transportation Study revealed the new draft during a public meeting in Evans that suggested ways to improve and expand bike and pedestrian pathways. About 25 people attended.

The long-range plan also looks at policies and programs to promote a safe and inviting network of biking and walking routes.

Consultants John Cock and Jean Crowther, from Alta Planning and Design, gave a presentation that addressed the need for safe biking and walking options in the area and the benefits of such activity, which can not only enhance physical health and the environment but also boost economic development, they said.

Though multiple-use paths were recommended on sections of Hereford Farm Road and William Few Parkway, targeted areas for striped bike lanes were suggested down North and South Belair Road and Lewiston Road.

Prioritized walkways in Columbia County include areas around Westmont Elementary School and busy portions of Washington and Columbia roads and on Katherine Street in Grovetown to Gordon Highway.

“It’s something that’s very much a part of my family’s lives,” Sharon Fausnight said of biking and walking.

For 15 years, the Evans resident has lived in the Bridlewood subdivision, off Furys Ferry Road, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph.

With no sidewalks in her neighborhood, Fausnight said, she is forced to drive her family to places such as the Savannah Rapids Pavilion or the North Augusta Greeneway to exercise in a safe environment.

Before the draft goes before the ARTS policy committee for final approval, it will be sent off to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The plan could be adopted as early as April.

Those who could not attend the meeting will have a second opportunity from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Aiken Technical College.

Additional information is available at www.bikewalkarts.com.

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Sat, 12/03/2016 - 00:51

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