County presents study to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety in Wire Road corridor

A county-funded study about pedestrian and bicycle trails in the Wire Road corridor has given Zephyrhills City Council plenty to think about.

Paul Kurtz, a landscape architect for AECOM, presented the results of a study that shows there are options that could provide paths for cyclists and pedestrians in the area on and around Wire Road. The corridor study, funded by the Pasco County MPO, included analysis of Wire Road, Dairy Road, 16th Street, Daughtery Road Pretty Pond Road and County Road 54.

The study analyzed existing conditions of the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within the study area and identified opportunities and challenges along corridors for future bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Trails, paths and sidewalks are limited in the study area which ultimately could connect the corridor to Zephyrhills High School, Woodland Elementary School and beyond.

Kurtz told members of council that some of the roads have minimal right of way on each side posing literal obstacles in constructing paths or trails. He also noted that nothing is impossible.

He pointed out options that don’t require additional space like single routes and shared lane markings. Bike lanes would require four to seven feet along the right of way. A cycle track or a side path requires up to 15 feet. A separated trail requires 15-20 feet.

“We realized that since some of the areas are so constrained, it will be difficult to do some of this stuff,” Kurtz said.

The next steps for the city if they plan to proceed include determining desired bicycle and pedestrian connections. Input from the public about connections will be helpful as well. Once connections are finalized, the city will need to identify funding.

“Wire Road has a lot of traffic on it and it isn’t an easy situation. I understand that,” said Councilman Lance Smith. “We have to look at something on Wire Road. We need to try to do what we can.”

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