Bicycle task force expected to be appointed Thursday

Published on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 12:28 - Written by

BY KELLY GOOCH, kgooch@tylerpaper.com

A bicycle task force could soon be formed to help with future planning.

The issue will be considered later this week during a Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in the Tyler Development Center, 423 W. Ferguson St.

City of Tyler Planning Director Heather Nick said the Tyler Metropolitan Planning Organization would like to engage the bicycle community to integrate future bicycle plans and future plans for the transportation planning study area, which, according to the city website, includes Tyler and areas such as Gresham, Lindale, New Chapel Hill, Noonday and Whitehouse.

She said bicycles not only promote wellness and fitness, but also are a way for commuting in the area.

Ms. Nick said the task force would focus on bicycles and their impact to the community, specifically in regard to making a bicycle vision that promotes wellness and recreation, among other things.

“They’re just going to really be able to add value to the planning efforts because we will get their input based on their experience and expertise in that realm,” she said.

She expects that task force members will be appointed on Thursday.

Once the task force is established, it would make periodic reports back to the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee, Ms. Nick said.

She said the task force comes at an appropriate time, as the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is about to launch its five-year update of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. That plan, which was approved in 2009, is described in a news release as “a long-range transportation plan with a 25-year scope that will help Tyler plan for future transportation needs and the expenditure of federal, state and local funds that become available for these projects.”

It includes various transportation improvement projects that total about $390 million, according to a news release.

A workshop on the Metropolitan Transportation Plan is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Drive.

During the meeting, Ms. Nick said a consultant will be on hand to help coordinate and facilitate, and the public will have the opportunity to give input.

“The ultimate goal of the workshop is to develop a community vision for future growth and identify the appropriate means of supporting that growth with various modes of transportation such as vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, public transportation and freight,” according to a news release.