In the coming months, students can expect to see the city of Martin become more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians in many different ways.
Quite recently, the city began to add more bike racks around the area. City Hall installed a small one in front of the building and the Volunteer Community Hospital also installed one outside of the emergency room entrance.
“As the leading healthcare organization in our community, we want to send a strong message on the importance of healthy lifestyles,” said Darrell Blaylock, CEO of Tennova Healthcare-Volunteer Martin. “We strive to be a leader in health education and want to do more than give it lip-service. The installation of the bike rack on our campus will encourage our employees and community to increase their physical activity.”
Martin already had some bike racks around town, including by the C.E. Weldon Public Library. Mayor Randy Brundige says that more bike racks will be added in the near future and some areas under consideration are Weldon Park and the downtown area.
In addition to the bike racks, the city of Martin is also planning the construction of a bike lane that will begin by the Hampton Inn on Skyhawk Parkway and end at the stoplight in front of Wal-Mart. This construction will also include the extension of the pre-exiting bike lanes by McDonald’s. These bike lines will be accompanied by a new sidewalk for pedestrians.
“…The chancellor has also agreed to make a walkway through that fence [by the baseball and softball fields],” said Brundige. “Bob Smith has been real good about helping us get that done, and we’re wanting to connect our commercial entities over there with the university and make it more accessible.”
Another project that will make Martin more bike-friendly is the expansion of the Brian Brown Greenway. The second phase of the Greenway will be underway in the coming months and will extend all the way into the downtown area.
Once all of these projects are completed, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to safely and comfortably travel from Skyhawk Park to Downtown Martin and have access to several stops along the way.
The last aspect of this project is updating the crosswalk lights to include audible indications of signal changes. Those that will be changed are in front of the Hampton Inn, McDonald’s, and Wal-Mart.
While Brundige does not have an exact timeline for when these projects will be completed, he says that the bids for the project should go out in the next two months, pending the finalization of the purchase of the remaining Greenway property from the railroad.