FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Some people who live on the southeast side of town are hoping for increased access to trails in their area. People who support the project said it will improve health and safety for people living there.
Residents voiced their concerns at the City Council meeting Tuesday evening. They said more trails are needed not only for safety and health reasons but to give people more options for alternative travel, allowing them access to places sidewalks can’t take them.
Currently, neighbors said there are only around four blocks of trails on the southeast side of town, all around the Renaissance Pointe YMCA. Recently, the city painted bike lanes on major streets throughout southeast Fort Wayne, but many neighbors said they thought the investment was a waste of money.
“That paint doesn’t guarantee you safety,” James Redmond, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 60 years, said. “Somebody could be driving along and not even see you.”
People who use bikes as their main mode of transportation said the painted lanes are dangerous, and cars even use the bike lanes as turning lanes. Residents want the city to consider making more substantial improvements and possibly even create a trail connecting Foster and McMillan Parks.
“Taking the boulevard and widening them to have the ability to have the trails where the bikes could be off the streets is safer, and they would be used,” Councilman Glynn Hines said. “Currently, they’re just not being used.”
Hines said there is money to fund this project. The city is already using Legacy and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) for street improvements, so leaders said this project could fall under those renovations.
The Urban Trails Project is still in early talks with the city, but there will be a community forum for people to learn more about the project this Thursday morning at 11:30 at Links Wonderland located at 1711 E. Creighton Ave.