BICYCLE LAFAYETTE PLAN ONLINE FOR PUBLIC INPUT

Jun 21, 2022, 12:41 PM by Jennifer McCommons

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BICYCLE LAFAYETTE PLAN ONLINE FOR PUBLIC INPUT

Participation crucial for measuring community’s needs and preferences

Lafayette, LA – Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) is seeking public input on the Bicycle Lafayette Plan, a master plan that carries out Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s goal of making Lafayette a safe, bike-friendly city for recreation and transportation. “Bicycle infrastructure is a valuable asset to our community. Not only does it encourage a healthier lifestyle but also attracts residents, improves property values of homes near bicycle paths, and increases tourism, in turn, boosting the economy,” Mayor-President Josh Guillory said.

The plan includes:

  • Approximately 40 miles of proposed bikeways and trails
  • An almost nine-mile Véloop route (derived from the word vélo meaning bike)
  • The Véloop connects 17 neighborhoods from Rotary Point to Pontiac Point and 11 city assets, including downtown, the Oil Center, UL Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College and points in between.

Nick Hernandez, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator for LCG said, “I strongly encourage the public to participate in this survey. The more input we receive on this plan the more it is legitimized. The survey we did back in March had more than 200 participants. We hope to break that record with the survey we are releasing with the first draft of the plan today.”

SO Studio developed and designed the plan through community input while defining four main goals:

  • Safety
  • Connectivity
  • Comfort
  • Equitable

Hernandez said, “These bikeways will not only provide a safe and comfortable bike route network for our commuters, but it will also have recreational perks. We will have a trailhead at several different locations along the Véloop with seating, water, vehicle parking, and maybe even bike-share stations for those who don’t have access to a bicycle. The most exciting part of this plan is the equitable approach.”

Equity considerations are key components of the plan. SO Studio discovered disparities and incorporated these factors when designing bicycle routes: 

  • More than 20 percent of households along half of the Véloop do not own a vehicle.
  • More than 50 percent of households along approximately two-thirds of the route live in poverty.

A few reasons those surveyed, as mentioned in the Bicycle Lafayette Plan, believe Lafayette would benefit from being a bike-friendly city:

  • “We would love to bike more around the city, but it is too dangerous—especially with children.”
  • “Myself/my kids could easily ride bikes to work/school if safe cycling infrastructure existed, which would also take a car or two off the road.”
  • “A separate walking/biking trail would be amazing to get around the city.”
  • “Lafayette roads are unsafe as they stand now—the future growth of Lafayette depends on young people wanting to reside in a community that values safe travel lanes for cyclist.”

Visit https://lafayettela.civilspace.io/en/projects/bicycle-lafayette to review the plan, designs, and to take the short survey.