Petitioning Alabama Department of Transportation

Include Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities on the I-10 Mobile River Bridge


To improve the health and quality of life of Mobile Bay residents, and to give walkers and cyclists from around the United States a unique first class facility to enjoy.

Letter to
Alabama Department of Transportation
We, the undersigned, ask that bicycle and pedestrian facilities be included in the proposed I-10 bridge over the Mobile River.

The Need
• Alabama is ranked 49th in the nation in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, indicating severe deficiencies. Within Alabama, Mobile is has fewer facilities than other cities, with only one on-road bike lane.
• Mobile is ranked 4th in the country in obesity, with a 33.7% rate. Mobile ranks in the bottom of many measures of health and quality-of-life nationally.

The Opportunity
• Health and Quality-of-life: The Mobile Bay bikeway could be connected to the planned Three-Mile Creek linear park and Eastern Shore Trail – allowing people from West Mobile to Point Clear a safe avenue to exercise by biking or walking. As an example, 66% of Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge users say they are getting more exercise because of the bridge’s bikeway, and 85% of African American users say they are more active because of the bridge. Over 300,000 people per year now use the bikeway on that bridge.
• Tourism: The bikeway would be challenging enough that it would attract enthusiasts, as well as the offering the general population a spectacular view of the bay.
• Economic Development: Young entrepreneurs and professionals desire amenities such as this in the communities in which they choose to live. Also, bike paths have been shown to increase volume in small businesses along their route – which would be downtown Mobile, the Causeway, and Eastern Shore in this case – as cyclists and pedestrians are more likely to stop and patronize them.

Logistics
• Bike paths on Interstate highways or bridges are NOT prohibited by law. In March 2010 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a policy statement that encourages state DOTs to include biking and walking accommodations on all bridge projects.
• Title 23 United States Code section §217 requires that bridges being built or replaced with federal funds include safe accommodation for bicyclists as long as it does not represent an “excessively disproportionate cost” which FHWA considers “exceeding twenty percent of the cost of the larger transportation project. ”
• There are dozens of examples of interstate or other major bridges with bicycle accommodations: the Woodrow Wilson (I‐95 at the Potomac River), the George Washington Bridge (I‐95 over the Hudson River); I‐90 floating bridge across Lake Washington in Seattle; the Golden Gate Bridge (US 101) in San Francisco; and the Cooper River Bridge (US 17) in Charleston, SC.

Signed:
Adventure Cycling Association
Alabama Bicycle Coalition
Alabama Coast United
Alliance for Biking and Walking
Baldwin County Trailblazers
Lagniappe Editorial Board
League of American Bicyclists
Medical Society of Mobile County
Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Mobile Bay Sierra Club
Mobile Baykeeper
Mobile United
Mobilians on Bikes
National Center for Biking and Walking
Press-Register/al.com Editorial Board
Providence Hospital
SmartCoast
Springhill Medical Center
Team Share the Road