Fact Sheet Released at Press Conference on May 19, 2017
The Bikeway project started exactly one year ago with an email from Ric Watson, Director of the Icehouse Gallery and Art Guild, to Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell suggesting that Mayfield build a multi-use pathway through the city from north to south. The Mayor replied, “Great Idea!” Last July Watson invited everyone interested in the project to attend a meeting in Council Chambers to gauge the interest among residents. The response was overwhelming and so studies began on what route the Bikeway would take. A grant was submitted last September for funding through Frankfort’s office for the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program. The grant was approved for $600,000 and requires an additional twenty percent match to be made by the city. The Mayor and the Mayfield City Council authorized the matching funds which may be paid either in cash to the project or by “work in kind” toward infrastructure enhancement, administrative costs for preparing contracts for bid and for supervising the construction.
The Bikeway will be a multi-use pathway open to pedestrians (walkers and joggers), bicyclists, skaters and skateboarders, e-bikes, wheelchairs (both motorized and non-motorized) and battery-powered personal transportation devices such as Segways. It will begin at the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds in the north part of the city and will extend to the Kess Creek Park in the south. It will connect Lions Club Park, the War Memorial Stadium, Harmon Park, the new Anderson Park on 6th Street at Indiana and Kiwanis Park as it makes its way south to Kess Creek Park and the YMCA facility. The Graves County Public Library will be connected to the Bikeway along with Mayfield Elementary, Mayfield Middle School and Mayfield High. Virtually all businesses, banks and restaurants will either lie along the Bikeway or will be in close proximity to the route. If the project can remain on budget, there should be adequate funds remaining to run a path from the YMCA building to the Peebles/Walmart shopping areas. Several private individuals in town have already expressed an interest in opening snack shops and a bicycle sales/service shop along the route.
The grant calls for most of the Bikeway to run on protected eight-foot paved pathways along the city’s rights-of-way. No additional private property will need to be purchased so virtually all of the funding will go to infrastructure enhancements and signage. The City Council will be formalizing the existence of a “Mayfield Bikeway Commission” and the project will be directed from the Icehouse Gallery facility by Ric Watson. Once funds are deposited in a special account administered by Tamie Johnson, Mayfield City Clerk, work will commence immediately. The Bikeway should take about 18 months to complete and will officially open with a ceremony attended by state and local government officials.
The Bikeway will be designed both for recreation and transportation. There will be points of interest incorporated into the path to make it entertaining and motivational for users. It will run under the old Lockridge Street railroad trestle as it winds through the Harmon Park area and the Laurel Oak Garden Club will maintain planters for a wide boulevard setting along 7th Street as it approaches the Mayfield Middle School. But it will serve an important transportation need as well. As the name of the grant agency implies, the Bikeway will provide an artery for an alternative means to safely commute throughout the city besides motorized vehicles. The emphasis will be on safety; crosswalks and traffic signals will be designed to address this concern.
The City of Mayfield wishes to thank Governor Matt Bevin, State Senator Stan Humphries and Representative Richard Heath for supporting our effort to create such a meaningful project for our community. Thanks also go to Kim Tompkins, TAP Coordinator with the Office of Local Programs in Frankfort for making the grant application process a breeze and to Troy Hearn, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Lee Nalley, Kentucky State Clearinghouse Coordinator in the Office of the Governor for their valuable assistance. Thanks go to Tim Choate, former member of the Mayfield Planning Commission and long-time resident for technical assistance on the project and for his suggestion to use the old Lockridge Street railroad trestle as a feature of the Bikeway. Special thanks go to Martha Emmons, co-owner of BikeWorld in Paducah and tireless advocate for cycling throughout the Commonwealth for her speech at the initial meeting and for her continued support throughout the planning stage.
This project is not the domain of any single entity. Watson will be promoting the Bikeway in a manner that benefits all members of the community and will seek to involve all business and social groups in the design process. Businesses will be invited to sponsor park benches and rest areas along the path. Events of all kinds involving walkers, runners and cyclists will be encouraged. As the BAM! Kiwanis Bicycle Tour grows in size the Bikeway will be used to transport participants to the Icehouse Gallery – the event’s registration and starting point - from additional parking facilities at the Fairgrounds and Mayfield High School. Community groups will be asked to help create programs to provide bicycles, locks, safety lights and accessories for children of low-income families so that they may enjoy the freedom of traveling by bicycle to schools and parks. The Bikeway is a city-wide project and will be designed to be a point of pride for all residents of the city. With the Bikeway Mayfield joins the ranks of cities such as Dallas, Austin, Atlanta and New York that have linked their neighborhoods with bike pathways that benefit the health, environment and economic development of their communities and in so doing enhance the lives of their citizens.