Got an issue with the bike paths in the Tri-Cities? Want to see more done to require drivers to share the road? April 29 will be your chance to let officials know.
The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments will host a workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. where cyclists can give feedback on bicycle travel in the area. The event will be held at the Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Road.
The agency needs the feedback to update its regional bicycle-pedestrian plan, said Len Pavelka, a planner with the agency. It last had a workshop like this leading up to its 2010 update.
“We’re asking users of the system to identify what works and what doesn’t,” Pavelka said.
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Cyclists will sit at one of four tables to look at maps of Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and West Richland. They will be asked to mark up the areas they have concerns with — either roads used by cyclists or bicycle paths.
The projects that are brought up will then be listed, and participants will be asked to place small dots next to the ones they feel should be priorities.
“What are the gaps and the challenges they feel are most important to be addressed?” Pavelka said.
The recommendations will be forwarded to cities and counties to address in their future transportation plans, he said.
Similar meetings before the 2005 and 2010 updates were attended by around 30 people, Pavelka said. He hopes for more this time.
“I know that word has been distributed,” he said. “The information on the event has been in the bicycle community for at least three weeks.”
Kurt Recknagle, president of the Chinook Cycling Club, has been sending out messages to the club’s 220 members to try to get them to attend.
“We’re trying to rally the troops for that,” he said.
Recknagle has concerns about the impact Benton County’s chip seal program has on cycling. But he is also interested in hearing other people’s ideas.
Greg Turpen, a former president of the Chinook club, wants to see more emphasis on bicycle paths and lanes. New roads are being built to accommodate development, but they aren’t accounting for increased bike traffic, he said.
“All the development just encourages more traffic and more cars,” he said. “But they are allowing developers to build the absolute minimum.”
The workshop will start with a report on the results of previous planning efforts, as well as information on bicycle-related health statistics, according to a Richland news release.
The mapping out of challenges, and possible solutions, will start around 6:30 p.m.