Who are you and where are you from?
I am a registered landscape architect and I work for BREC where I am currently the trail planner. My job is to locate and build recreational multi-use connecting trails within East Baton Rouge parish, utilizing public input to construct a network of trails for recreation and alternative transportation. I was born in Indiana and moved to Memphis at age 9, then to Baton Rouge at 13. I have lived and worked here the majority of my life and have been involved with cycling issues and trail projects for much of that time.
Why do you love bicycling?
I have loved my bike and bicycling since I was a child. My bike meant freedom to me. I loved using my physical strength to power it, the speed with which I was able to move, and the feeling of the breeze against my body. That feeling never left me and even a short bike ride takes me back to what it felt like to ride back then.
Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?
I wanted to develop closer relationships with riders in the community so that I could better do my job as a trail planner in the city. I believe that the relationships I develop will give me a better understanding of the needs and desires of my end user group and that I will be able to provide them with a bike network that fits the city and its people.
What do you see YOUR role within Bike Baton Rouge?
What do you do and what are you good at? I think I am a link to the real world implementation of the bike network in Baton Rouge and can provide members with a link to those who implement bike facilities.
What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?
I think that the biggest challenge is funding a large bicycle network and implementing a different type of transportation network in a town/parish that heavily relies on cars.
What are you and Bike Baton Rouge doing to tackle that challenge?
This is an important time for cyclists and pedestrians in Baton Rouge. We are entering a period where transportation networks will include complete streets that will consider accommodations for all road users. There are currently two planning projects in progress that will focus on design and safety of the bike pedestrian network in the parish. Bike Baton Rouge and I will be a part of the planning process and we need to identify our niche and set significant goals for the upcoming year.
What will bicycling in Baton Rouge look like in 1/5/20 years time?
1 year – Master Planning and Safety Master Planning complete. I am looking forward to identifying connections between neighborhoods, parks, schools, workplaces, businesses, and other public places.
5 years – Wards Creek Bridge installed, with connection to OLOL hospital, bridge across Wards Creek to Westminster, and Health Loop at least 50% complete
10 years - Completion of the Health Loop trail and a link between the northern (Southern University) and southern parts of the parish (Louisiana State University).
20 years – Main connectors complete including an east west link from downtown Baton Rouge to Denham Springs/Amite River
What does your "ideal" day of bike riding look like?
My favorite ride in Baton Rouge is a ride around the university lake because I like to ride along a waterway. In my neck of the woods I like to ride the Tammany Trace from Mandeville Trailhead with a stop in Abita Springs at the brew pub and then to Covington and lunch at Coffee Rani. Then a trip back to Mandeville at the end.