Demand for a Bicycle Path on Brightside Lane
We are concerned that the Brightside Lane Project recently announced as part of the Green Light Plan, appears to involve the loss of a bicycle lane. The Green Light Plan presents an opportunity to grow Baton Rouge in a manner which is forward looking and incorporates lessons from the past. The problems of global warming and uncertain energy supplies will compel our city and others to control our consumption of fossil fuels. An epidemic of obesity and associated diseases should teach us that we need spaces in our cities where citizens, (especially our children), can safely practice an active lifestyle. Cycling is an excellent means for individual citizens to address these issues. The spectacle of the abandonment of car-less citizens in New Orleans post-Katrina was projected across the world. Fairly or unfairly, that image is now a stain on our region. To attract and sustain inward investment, we must demonstrate as a community that we are a progressive city. The Baton Rouge Government has made a good start towards meeting these goals by paving the levee bike path. However, as with roads, bicycle paths are of limited value in isolation. Rather, they are most useful as part of an integrated network. The current Brightside bike path is an important link between the levee path (which ultimately will connect Baton Rouge with New Orleans and points in between) and popular destinations in town, including LSU, Southgate and nearby residential neighborhoods. A well worn path from the end of Brightside to the levee path (currently unpaved in that area) is testimony to the importance of that link. We urge Baton Rouge Parish to include a one-way bicycle path in each direction in the Brightside Lane project.