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Forsyth County begins process of updating bicycle plan

NORTH FORSYTH — The first of two public information sessions on an update of Forsyth County’s bike and pedestrian plan drew a light turnout Monday night at the Hampton Park Library.

Rex Martin, an avid cyclist, told Forsyth officials and representatives of Forsite Group, an engineering service hired by the county, that he would like to see a trail or path linking Sawnee Mountain to Poole’s Mill Park in northwest Forsyth.

“As the county grows, you’re getting a lot less places to walk, a lot less parks, people don’t have lots of anywhere to go,” he said. “They live in a house with a little bitty yard. They have nowhere to ride. If they were tied together then you could go somewhere instead of just riding in a circle in the park.”

Similarly, fellow cyclist Tricia Steinman encouraged the county to add more bike trails in north Forsyth.

“I was hoping that they would bring trails up north, because I have to go to Exit 13 [off Ga. 400] to ride safely,” she said. “We have 2 acres, but I still have to load up and go somewhere … I still have to load up my kids and take them somewhere.”

There were no formal presentations during the drop-in style sessions, which provided an overview on the county’s bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways needs assessment. Displays were set up and visitors could talk with consultant representatives and county staff. The second session was held Tuesday night at the Post Road Library in west Forsyth.

“In 2002, Forsyth County put a 2025 plan up for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Sameer Patharkar of Forsite. “Because of the changing demographics and changing needs of the citizens, every five to seven years Forsyth has been updating the plan. So the last plan we updated was in 2008.”

Tim Allen, assistant director of engineering for the county, said feedback from the meetings will be used to form an update for the county commission to approve.

“Any new projects, or extensions of old projects that have been identified, we’ll take everybody’s comments and make sure that we’ve covered everything fully,” Allen said.

“The comments that I’ve gotten tonight have all been positive, I haven’t gotten a single negative comment.”