Could more bike lanes be coming to Alexandria?

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 6:42 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Bike lanes were added along Bolton Avenue in Alexandria almost five years ago, but now the Rapides Area Planning Commission is creating a full bicycle-pedestrian plan to expand those lanes throughout the major roadways in the city.

Matt Johns, the Executive Director for the Rapides Area Planning Commission, said they conducted surveys to find out what places in Alexandria could use more bike lanes and restriping the streets.

“We have a lot of people that ride bikes because they have to as there are zero vehicle households and people below the poverty line. Taking all the different factors into account, we ended up coming up with a plan to make this thing work,” said Johns.

Major streets like Jackson, Versailles and Masonic are all included in the plan to receive a bike line and have the roads restriped. Adding a bike lane and a grass median would turn the four-lane stretch on Masonic Dr. from Lee St. to Texas Ave. to just two lanes.

Masonic Drive is a heavy traffic area as the Alexandria Zoo, the Youth Complex and Cabrini Hospital are all along that stretch.

Alexandria City Councilman At-Large Lee Rubin said he doesn’t know if there is a need for that many bike lanes in Alexandria.

“Several others have concerns on the effect this is going to have on traffic control. I don’t see bicycle traffic on our street today and we all know this is gonna be an inconvenience for vehicular traffic,” said Rubin.

The planning commission presented their ideas at the last city council meeting, but no council member made a motion to accept. Councilman Rubin said he hopes that this project does move forward so that residents will be able to say that they do approve or not.

“If nobody makes the motion, I’ll make the motion to move it to the full council because that’s the only way the public can have an input,” said Rubin.

This agenda item will be brought up at the next council meeting scheduled for March 9.

If this project does get approved, it would be fully covered as 80% of the funding would come from state and federal funds while the remaining 20% would be matched by Cleco.

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