Walking the walk: Leaders consider foot, bike paths in city

Published 4:24 am Friday, June 22, 2018

Facilitator Mark Fenton, one of the foremost experts on designing healthy, walkable communities, made a special trip to Bogalusa on Tuesday.

Fenton is also the former host of the “America’s Walking” series on PBS, and an adjunct associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science at Tufts University. He has authored two books on walking, and was a former editor of “Walking” magazine.

He instructed citizens to note improvements to the city’s walkability and “bikeability” as it is now, and to consider both short-term and long-term program, project, and policy level interventions.

Fenton stopped several times after specific legs of the tour, which started out heading east from City Hall, then headed north to the west end of Louisiana Avenue, before wrapping up at Austin Street and Carolina Avenue. After that, participants went back to the meeting room, where teams split up and wrote down their short- and long-term projects, programs, and policies.

Derek Covert, of Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, suggested his employer might tack on 15 minutes to everybody’s lunch hour as a policy to help employees get some exercise. Others suggested bicycle lanes throughout Bogalusa, which could go past entertainment venues and commercial establishments.

Still, others recommended “round-abouts” to slow traffic in some parts of the city, and the idea of a bike sharing program.

Fenton’s presentation was sponsored by Firemen’s Federal Credit Union, the City of Bogalusa, WellAheadLA.com, Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, and LSU Ag Center.

The next community meeting is open to anyone who is interested. It will take place at Bogalusa Country Club at noon on Tuesday, July 24.