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Cyclists’ input on plan wanted by state

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A statewide bike network improvement plan is being developed with the goal of providing a “safe, sustainable and well-connected” system of bike-accessible areas on state-owned and maintained highways.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation is in charge of the development of the New Mexico Prioritized Statewide Bicycle Plan, which is part of a series of long-range plans for various transportation modes in the state.

The state held three public meetings in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe and now seeks public comment about the plan until June 15.

One of those who has made comments is Perry Toles, a member of the Roswell Bike Club, which rides four times a week. He said he also has encouraged other cycling enthusiasts to provide input on the plan.

“In my opinion Roswell is one of the best communities for cyclists,” said Toles. “There are no streets or roads that need to be avoided. We have the East-West Spring River Corridor Trail System, and road cyclists can ride out of their driveways and go in any direction, finding flats or hills.”

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He said his primary concern with area roads is when re-pavements do not go all the way to the shoulder, leaving what he characterized as dangerous ridges for cyclists to maneuver around or reducing the area where cyclists can ride.

According to the planning documents, improvements to highways in order to encourage biking are meant to promote economic development, improve public health, connect local and regional roads, and provide for equitable access for state residents.

Planning documents and submission of comments can be made on the website of Bohannan Huston, the firm contracting with the state to develop the plan. The project website is bhinc.com/nm-bike-plan.

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