The bicycle and pedestrian component of the Mobile Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan presents plans, policies, and programs which will contribute to an integrated, intermodal transportation system and facilitate the movement of people. Only when the transportation system is viewed as an integrated system, designed to serve a variety of users equally, can each mode complement the others and increase the efficiency of the entire transportation system, while helping to alleviate urban environmental problems and improve the overall quality of life. Bicycle and pedestrian transportation are economically efficient and environmentally sound, reduce noise and the consumption of fuel, produce no air pollution, improve the overall health of the user, and do not damage the roadway.
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Key features of the bikeway plan are:
- Connectivity between major destinations is a major goal of the bikeway plan.
- A comprehensive network is included, made up of on-street and off-street bikeway lanes, that provide access to all parks, major institutional uses, and most schools.
- Off-road bikeways are shown as part of some forty miles of proposed shared-use facilities, utilizing abandoned railway right-of-way and streams.
- Once implemented, the possibility would exist to bike off-road, from Crestview Park in south central Mobile, to Citronelle, with the exception of two stretches of on-road cycling.
- The plan provides access to all parts of Mobile County, although not necessarily by the most direct route, in order to avoid streets with the County’s highest degree of bicycle difficulty.
- Sufficient bike lanes are provided in the downtown area and throughout the central part of Mobile.
- Every attempt is made to use routes considered suitable for bicycles.
- Bikeway access is provided to major recreational facilities in the Mobile County.
- On-street bikeway lane access is provided to the University of South Alabama and Spring Hill College.
- On-street bicycle lane linkage is proposed with all existing and proposed Shared-Use Trails.
- The planned bike routes provide the rider with numerous possibilities for a loop ride without backtracking over the same route, especially in an area bounded by Moffett Road on the north, I-65 on the east, Theodore Dawes Road on the south, and Schillinger Road on the west.
- Access is provided to major destination points, such as major shopping concentrations, governmental buildings, Dauphin Island, etc.
- The Plan proposes that the designated U.S. Bicycle Route in south Mobile County be properly developed with lane markings and signage.
- It is assumed that many of the recommended on-street bicycle lanes can be realized by painting bike lane markings, narrowing existing travel lanes, widening existing pavement to include paved shoulders, or by removing existing travel lanes.
- Many of the Bikeways Plan recommendations can be implemented by coordinating improvements with other street and development construction projects.