Slidell leaders plan bike and walk paths

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL, La. -- Kyle Boudreaux is a big supporter of expanding cycling across St. Tammany Parish.

That's why he's glad to hear Slidell is taking steps to become the next big biking destination on the Northshore.

“It gets more people outdoors so they can enjoy those kinds of things," he said.

Leaders laid out 20 miles of suggested trails in a bicycle master plan, which got the thumbs up from council Tuesday night.

One of the goals is to make bike and pedestrian travel more safe across the city, especially at the intersection of Front and Fremaux streets.

Mayor Freddy Drennan said changes, in a grant application now, aim to connect Olde Towne to the city's waterfront areas.

"It will upgrade that crosswalk to the new technology that's available today and actually change the light there that would allow people to be able to regulate the light there and cross the highway," Drennan said.

The proposed intersection work is part of a larger, parish-wide plan to extend the Tammany Trace past where it ends now near Camp Salmen. Part of that plan is already paid for with a federal grant, and it will eventually take the trail all the way to Heritage Park, where Front and Fremaux meet.

"From Heritage Park, I know that the long-term plan is to try to have the Trace actually end at Lake Pontchartrain by the fishing pier," Drennan said.

Some say the improvements are a good draw for fun and financial benefits.

“There's over 300,000 visitors a year that visit the Tammany Trace, and I think by them jumping on board with this, I think it shows they're all in, getting them more engaged with their visitor base and their local population," Boudreaux said.

And finally becoming part of the cycling circle in St. Tammany.

The council will consider adding its support to the intersection project application at next month’s meeting. The Trace extension from Camp Salmen to Woodlawn Drive, covered with grant money, is currently in the design phase.

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