HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Bicyclists in Huntsville are urging city leadership to make the streets safer for all commuters. Following the death of a cyclist Tuesday, they tell WAFF 48 News something needs to be done with them in mind.
“In comparison to other cities in the U.S., you can’t really consider Huntsville bike-friendly," stated James Harris.
Cyclists like Harris in the Rocket City hoping for a launch of new bike paths and initiatives to keep them safe.
“There is a big lack of infrastructure and a big lack of education," said Harris. “It’s a few seconds of your life. Why risk someone else’s actual life over that?”
This latest push follows the death of a cyclist Tuesday night doing what he loved: riding his bike. Huntsville police say Jose Zayas was hit on Wall Triana Highway when a driver passing another car, merged right.
Dennis Madsen, the city’s planning director, says there is no timeline on when more bike lanes will pop up but they’re working around the clock.
“It’s slow-going. We know that," admitted Madsen. "We are a big sprawling city with a lot words that have work to do on them but we’re trying to approach it both through complete streets improvements, greenway improvements, new bike facilities like you see on Spragins to translate those on Holmes Avenue and Clinton. We want to see that happen all over the place.”
Madsen says the city recently recieved a grant to study where crossings will work along the Parkway.
During Thursday nights city council meeting, district 2 councilwoman Frances Akridge had an emotional reminder for drivers.
“Drive with respect for anybody that’s on a bicycle," said Akridge. "There are people who don’t know what they’re doing. There are people that do but regardless if they’re on a bike, please watch out for them.”