The City of Murfreesboro is cautioning homeowners against leaving yard debris and other obstructions in bike lanes and sidewalks. It comes after complaints from bicyclists who are forced to leave bike lanes to avoid yard debris and other obstructions, including parked automobiles.
“As the City’s bike and pedestrian system continues to grow, citizens need to be sensitive to the need to share the road with those who take advantage of alternative means of transportation and recreation,” said City Engineer Chris Griffith. “We need to do everything we can to ensure that bike lanes and sidewalks are unobstructed for the good of public safety.”
“Yard waste should be placed at the curb without blocking sidewalks or bike lanes with brush, leaves and debris,” said City Solid Waste Director Joey Smith. “Blocking bike paths is a hazard for those who utilize the lanes for transportation.”
The City of Murfreesboro encourages residents to walk and ride their bikes when possible to promote better health and help relieve congestion. Cities across the country, included Murfreesboro, are embracing cyclists with added bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks.
Dedicated bicycle lanes with protected bike lines that buffer bicycle and vehicular traffic have expanded in Murfreesboro during the past decade. The City currently has 25.14 miles of dedicated bike lane miles, 4.06 miles of share the road facilities, 4.32 miles of committed bike lane projects, and 11.74 miles of committed multi-use path projects.
The City recently completed a $1.2 million improvement to Blaze Drive between Brinkley Road and Blackman High School that included multi-use improvements, including new sidewalks. More than 3,300 Black High School and Blackman Middle School students attend classes in this area of West Murfreesboro and many bike or walk to school.
Jones Boulevard, a narrow 2-lane street will soon undergo a widening project that will include a 10-foot multi-use path and 5-foot sidewalk. The goal is to make the area more pedestrian and bike friendly. Construction should be completed by 2019.
“Transportation and getting around Murfreesboro is more than just widening and paving streets,” said Transportation Director Jim Kerr. “It’s also about creating an interconnected-ness between cars, buses, transit, bikes and walking for the betterment of the whole community.”
Bike Walk Murfreesboro, a chapter of Bike Walk Tennessee, works to raise awareness of biking and walking conditions and to encourage greater community support. For more information on Bike Walk Tennessee, visit www.bikewalktn.org or follow the Bike Walk Murfreesboro chapter on Facebook.