After decades of talk about making Lafayette more bike-friendly — Lafayette Consolidated Government is moving forward with plans to get it done.
LCG told KATC they are still in the early phases of getting the wheels rolling on this project, but drawings are expected to be unveiled by May 20, National Bike to Work Day, if not sooner.
LCG said the plans are currently intended for the city of Lafayette, but they have hopes to extend the construction to be parish-wide in the future.
"I've been hit by a car once, I don't want to get hit by a car again," said lifelong Lafayette resident Trey Sutton, who was badly injured last December.
Without a car, Sutton said he relies on his bicycle to get around and he told KATC the current bike path system doesn't make it easy or safe.
"Cars act like they own the road, they act like they own the road," Sutton said. "They flip us off, they curse at us, they swipe us, it's just not fair. We bicyclists have the same right to be on the road as cars do."
Lauren Breaux bikes for fun, but pressure at the pump has her hitting the brakes more often.
"Gasoline is a little bit ridiculous, and I think everybody needs a little bit of exercise, right?" Breaux said.
These reasons and more are why LCG wants to hit the road with this project. LCG's Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator, Nick Hernandez, said as a biker himself, this is long overdue.
"Of all of our traffic fatalities in Lafayette Parish, 31 percent are non-motorized users, that includes our pedestrians and cyclists," Hernandez said. "I was on my way home and a right-turning vehicle hit my bicycle, so I have a personal experience with that."
While he said it's still too soon to tell how much the project will cost or where the construction will begin, Hernandez emphasized it is going to make city streets accessible for everyone — even ADA compliant.
"We want to plan for all ages and abilities, we want to plan for ages five to 95 to make sure that families can get on that bike-way system and feel comfortable."
According to LCG, when it comes to construction they plan to have wheels on the ground by as soon as the beginning of next year.
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