(Olive Branch, MS) Joel Van Niekirk runs about three miles a day and has a tough time finding safe places to do it, ”Well, I mean, I just… neighborhoods are generally safer places with sidewalks, things like that.”
Soon, he’ll have his very own lane of traffic down Craft Road over to Church and Highway 305.
Olive Branch Aldermen have accepted a $189, 000 Mississippi Department of Transportation grant to build a bike and pedestrian lane.
”We’re always looking for opportunities like that,” said Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rikard.
All the City has to do, is kick in about $47,000 to pay its part of the work.
Why Church Road for a bike lane?
First, Church is one of the widest in town and the City can connect the municipal soccer field to the City’s other bike lane that connects to a subdivision.
The Mayor says it’ll eventually connect to a much bigger project, ”A portion of that, along Church Road will become part of DeSoto County’s large greenway project where you can, one of these days, maybe walk across the County.”
A lot’s been made of all the bike and pedestrian lanes in Memphis, but those who live in Olive Branch say the suburbs need them too.
”That’ll be awesome. You see a lot of people running up and down Goodman Road. That’s kinda dangerous. That’ll be good,” said Van Niekirk
Good for safer, and longer running.