More than 100 miles of on-road bicycle paths and more than 250 miles of off-road paths and trails are being proposed for East Baton Rouge Parish, according to a draft of the Baton Rouge Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.
The plan is a multiyear collaborative effort between the state Department of Transportation and Development and BREC to develop a plan for a cohesive network of pedestrian and bike paths stretching across the parish. The agencies contracted with consultant firm Arcadis US Inc. and Toole Design Group to develop the plan.
The plan, which is in the process of being presented to different boards for approval, calls for two complementary networks of facilities to be created. The Complete Streets Citizen Advisory Committee received the plan at its meeting mid-April, while the Planning Commission will consider the master plan at its next meeting, May 18.
The first network, the Active Transportation Network, will consist primarily of on-street bicycle lanes and sidepaths, and the second is the BREC Trails Network. Through the planning process, it became clear that bicycle boulevards—also known as neighborhood greenways or neighborhood bikeways—would form an integral part of the Active Transportation Network because of their lower costs to build and the opportunity for faster implementation.
The BREC Trails Network is the continuation of a 16-year effort to identify routes and build an integrated trail and greenway system throughout East Baton Rouge Parish.
Along with a list of priority trails and crosswalk projects released by BREC, the plan also takes into consideration MovEBR projects and previously announced bike path projects such as the $1.2 million Health Loop. Major projects include a bike lane on Florida Street, from River Road to N. 4th Street, as well as bike lanes on Dalrymple Drive, around LSU and downtown.
The plan identifies federal, state and other avenues of funding that could be used to pay for the projects. See the full 363-page plan.