Shreveport starting to become more bicycle-friendly

By Liz Elan - email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - More and more people are saying no to near $4.00 price of gas and giving up four wheels for two. But is Shreveport ready for a new wave of transportation?

Taking the kids to school in the morning is a normal routine for many, but on a bike?

"In my car it takes me nine minutes. In a bike it takes 11," says Shreveporter Ian Webb.

Now that gas prices have hit $4.00 a gallon in Shreveport, Ian's been getting a lot of exercise. After Ian drops his son off, he heads to work. Ian's the owner of River City Cycling in Shreveport, where he says many people are following his lead

"We saw a huge jump in May, people coming in saying they just can't pay (for) $4.00 gas."

A steady flow of riders are hitting the streets, a trend one Shreveport park planner says the city did not anticipate.  "Six months or a year ago, the idea of bike riding was quaint. Now it's important," says Park Planner Tim Wachtel.

The city is looking into ways to make Shreveport more bike friendly, but it all starts on the city's streets. The road is for cyclists and drivers. The key to becoming a more bike friendly city is for everyone to acknowledge that.

"Iif we get along in cars, like we do in cars and we all share the road, it will be all of ours," says Wachtel.

Next comes bike lanes and more trails, but the demand has to be there. "The volume has to be there before you start setting aside facilities on the street for them," Wachtel says.

As bicycling gets more accommodating, and so do cars, Webb says it's only a matter of time. "We are getting there."

Sharing the road in perfect harmony.