OAK RIDGE ADOPTS PLAN FOR BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIANS

Adopted by Oak Ridge City Council on April 11, the Oak Ridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan describes the current state of walking and bicycling in the City of Oak Ridge, and it lays out a plan for improving bicycling and walking conditions in the years to come.

The planning process for this plan began in the fall of 2009, with meetings between City of Oak Ridge and TPO bicycle and pedestrian planning staff. City staff recruited residents to form a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. This group developed a vision and mission statement that has guided the committee in overseeing the public process for this plan and selecting the programs, policies and projects that the plan recommends.

According to a 2009 inventory of sidewalks and greenways, Oak Ridge had 57 miles of concrete sidewalks and 45 miles of asphalt sidewalks. An additional 8.5 miles of sidewalks have since been added along Oak Ridge Turnpike as part of a TDOT project. Oak Ridge has seven total miles of paved greenways and dozens of additional miles of unpaved greenways. The first on-street bicycle lanes in Oak Ridge were recently added as part of TDOT’s Oak Ridge Turnpike project.

The plan suggests that Oak Ridge adopt a Complete Streets policy, which can take the form of an ordinance, a resolution or a design manual. The city should consider the use of urban design overlays, form-based codes and other tools to help create places that encourage walking and bicycling.

It also recommends the creation of programs such as a Share the Road campaign to educate motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians about laws related to bicycling and walking. Other suggestions include a Safe Routes to School program, annual community bike ride and an active living club.

The plan has a prioritized listing of recommended projects. Other project ideas are bicycle and pedestrian facilities on federal land and connecting to the greenway systems of adjoining municipalities.

It also describes design principles to help create a well-designed built environment for pedestrians and bicyclists. These principles include street crossing improvements, sidewalks, shared-use paths, shoulders, shared roadways and bicycle boulevards.

Melton Lake Greenway

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