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July 6, 2016 – More than 600 people responded to a survey to help the city develop a plan for becoming more bicycle- and pedestrian - friendly.
More than 70% of respondents typically bike or walk for recreation and exercise. They overwhelmingly indicated that more sidewalks, bike lanes, and greenways would encourage more cycling and walking. Maintenance of existing sidewalks, bike lanes, and greenways and improved connections between sidewalks, bike lanes and transit were also top priorities.
Top challenges that discourage people from cycling and walking include: automobile traffic and bad driver behaviors; insufficient bike lanes or sidewalks; and concerns about busy intersections and personal safety. Almost all who answered the survey also own a car but see bicycling and increased pedestrian traffic as having the potential to improve overall community health, connect to transit, and make Hampton more environmentally friendly. Correspondingly, 85% said they would be likely or very likely to bike or walk more frequently if it were safer and more convenient.
The City of Hampton, in partnership with consulting firm Rhodeside & Harwell, is undertaking the city’s first bicycle and pedestrian plan. Funded by a grant from the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, this plan focuses on the city's seven master plan areas - Buckroe, Coliseum Central, Downtown, Fort Monroe, Kecoughtan, North King Street, and Phoebus - and how to make it easier to bike and walk in and between those areas.
Hampton already considers all modes of transportation as part of new project development, said Public Works Director Lynn Allsbrook. Recent examples include King Street, which includes sidewalks, improved lighting and bike paths, as well as traffic-flow enhancements.
Feedback from the online survey, along with information gathered from public meetings and steering committee meetings, will be incorporated into the plan in the form of both policy and project recommendations. Projects will be prioritized based on several factors, including cost, available funding, and the ability of a segment to help grow the network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
The next bicycle and pedestrian event is planned for Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. at Carousel Park downtown. For more information, visit http://www.Hampton.gov/bikewalk.