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Bike-sharing services thriving in downtown Huntsville; city working to meet high demand

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 9:54 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Bike sharing services are in high demand this summer and downtown Huntsville is working to meet the growing needs of locals and tourists.

Chad Emerson, President & CEO of Downtown Huntsville, Inc. said the city is actively focusing on working to make downtown Huntsville more bike-friendly. Plans to implement more bike lanes and obtain more rentable blue bikes throughout the city have been in the works for a while.

“In 2016, we worked with the city to update the downtown master plan and one of the things we realized then was that people love to walk and bike just as much as they like to drive downtown,” Emerson said. “We have such beautiful trees, beautiful homes, beautiful buildings. People want to see those on two wheels and two feet just as much as inside a car.”

Right now, bikers have about five miles round trip of continuous lanes through the heart of the city.

Emerson wants folks to know about the newest routes. First, a new set of bike lanes connect the North side of downtown and Lincoln Mill to the core of downtown and Gateway Greenway. You can also ride all the way from the Lincoln Mill Office Campus and Preservation Company along Oakwood to Meridian, eventually reaching Big Spring Park.

Emerson said his team continuously evaluates downtown’s bike-share program and potential bike lanes as the city grows.

“The key is to make it bike safe and bike accessible and bike friendly,” he said. “Sometimes that means bike lanes, sometimes that means multimodal paths where people share...And so taking every street and inventorying and saying, ‘how does a bike rider experience this street in a unique, fun and safe way,’ that’s our goal for all of downtown Huntsville.”

The Metropolitan Planning Organization also has a detailed bikeway plan. It’s more than 80 pages and outlines major projects to improve the bicycle system in our community.

If you would like to share your ideas for downtown bicycle infrastructure and experiences, Emerson said his team is open to suggestions. You can reach out to Downtown Huntsville, Inc. on Instagram or Facebook via messenger.

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