Mayor Rogero proposes more money to make roads safe for bicyclists

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Bicycles are making a comeback for people looking to save money or maybe get a workout. Knoxville's mayor is the latest to jump on board.

If you ride on some busy roads, you're putting your life at risk. Some good news, cash is coming for changes and that has some bicyclists pretty happy.

Jon Livengood rides two wheels to work instead of four. He's done that every day for the last six years. Jon Livengood says, "It's faster than driving and I don't have to find a parking spot. It's just a great way to get to work."

It's a two and a half mile trip one way from South Knoxville to the City County building. But there is one problem Livengood says, "There are some true critical gaps that make it hard for people who aren't comfortable riding on the road."

He's pleased Mayor Madeline Rogero proposed $60,000 in her budget for bicycle infrastructure improvement. That money will go towards posting more signs, marking the pavement better in some areas and even widening the road to provide more of a shoulder. Director of Engineering Jim Hagerman says, "If we can provide a little more space there for the cyclists to be out of the flow of traffic, then everyone is happier."

And there's good news for people who walk around town too. Mayor Rogero wants an increase of 150 thousand dollars to build new sidewalks -- bringing the total budget to 550 thousand. Hagerman says, "We have a long backlog of projects and this will speed those up a little."

Jon hopes the additional sidewalks and bike infrastructure could help local businesses. Livengood says, "Where you can ride a bike or walk people are pulling over and going into stores and giving local businesses their money."

City council still has to approve Mayor Rogero's budget. That vote will happen May 21st.

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