With the ever increasing popularity of the Tanglefoot Trail, Pontotoc Mayor Jeff Stafford told aldermen last week that enhancing safety for bicycle riders in Pontotoc is a top priority.
Mayor Stafford told aldermen he will get bids on striping two bike lanes from Tanglefoot Trail to the Off the Square Market in downtown Pontotoc.
“Our town becoming bike friendly is goal one,” Stafford said.
“Over the next several months we’ll continue working on our Tanglefoot gateway, but an immediate priority is getting some bike lanes from the trail up into downtown Pontotoc,” he said.
“We want folks to stop and visit and we’re going to get two bike lanes marked off to help make that bike ride into town safer.”
Stafford said bike lanes will be striped along Marion Street and Reynolds Street leading to the Off the Square Market area.
Pontotoc’s gateway entrance to Tanglefoot Trail is being developed along College Street which connects to both Marion and Reynolds Streets.
A four-foot wide green therma striped bike lane will run from College Street to Marion Street which goes up a hill and intersects with Jefferson Street which runs in front of the entire Off the Square Market.
The green bike lane will continue onto Lafayette Street (which runs in front of Antiques Off the Square) and intersect again with Marion Street.
The white striped bike lane will run from College Street to Reynolds Street eastward up the hill where it intersects with Lafayette Street.
“We’re hoping that the green bike lane will be the preferred route because Marion Street is wider and the hill climb is not as tough as Reynolds Street,” Stafford said.
“Either way, the goal is to get bike riders safely uptown where they can visit and hopefully keep coming back.”
Stafford added that the city hopes to erect signs in May directing visitors to the location of the Tanglefoot Trail gateway.
“Bike trail signs are our next step and we’re working on a logo and sign color,” he said.
In a related matter, aldermen unanimously approved a motion to purchase six bike racks, eight benches and two trash cans at a state contract price of $4,736.
Stafford said these items will be placed downtown and at the splash pad in Howard Stafford Park.
Stafford said donated funds will be used to purchase the items.
In another matter, aldermen voted unanimously to amend the budget and increase the capital outlay for street paving from $100,000 to $300,000.
Some of the streets already targeted for re-paving included: Ford Street, Eastwood Lake Drive, Maggie Drive, College Street, HUD Street, North Brooks Street and Reynolds Street.
The board approved a motion to advertise for bids on 1,500, 2,000 and 3,500 tons of asphalt.
In compliance with a 1960’s law which requires board approval, aldermen approved a request from Michael and Demetra Mercantel to open a pool room on Highway 6 east.
Aldermen voted to waive the 45 days waiting period.
In other business, aldermen told South Columbia Street resident Eric Tate they want more input from neighborhood residents before deciding on a variance which would allow Tate to keep two donkeys and several goats at his 184 South Columbia Street property.
A city ordinance prohibits livestock, but Tate said he’d been using the goats for several years to clean up a vast overgrown area of his property.
He said the donkeys provide safety for the goats by running off dogs or coyotes.
Tate provided signatures from four Columbia Street neighbors who didn’t object to his keeping the animals.
Alderman Rayburn Mapp advised Tate to secure approval from neighbors who border his property on Highland Drive before the variance request is finally decided.