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Possible changes coming to busy Memorial Parkway

A public meeting was held Wednesday to discuss improving pedestrian and bike safety.

Posted: Oct 20, 2021 10:28 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2021 2:25 PM

The City of Huntsville is increasing its focus on alternative transportation. Part of that journey is public meetings, like the one held Wednesday, to discuss ways to make improvements to pedestrian and bike safety on Memorial Parkway.

It's a major thoroughfare in the city, and it's no stranger to accidents, either. For bicyclist Scott Akridge, safety improvements are good news. 

"Any time we can make things safer for cyclists or pedestrians, I want to see it happen," Akridge said. 

The meeting gave people in the community an opportunity to note what type of changes they would like to see on Memorial Parkway.

"What we want to do is look at the interchanges up and down the parkway and say, 'What can we do to make these not just car-friendly, but also bike- and pedestrian-friendly?'" said Huntsville's manager of urban and long-range planning, Dennis Madsen. 

There are about 14 interchanges along Memorial Parkway, and each one is different. This is also as the City of Huntsville continues to grow, which means more cyclists and pedestrians on the roads.

"There are problems, but they are kind of good problems to have," Madsen said. "We are blessed. We have a city that has a lot of resources."

Currently, there's no money allocated for this project, but Madsen said that's only because things are just getting started. The city is working with Barge Design Solutions, and city officials say it's all work in progress.

Akridge hopes these discussions will lead to actual change on Memorial Parkway to prevent any more accidents — or worse, fatalities.

All of the suggestions given in the meeting Wednesday will be considered moving forward. 

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