Dothan resident envisions sidewalks, bike paths on the west side

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — West side Dothan resident Kimberly Thomas made a post in a Wiregrass Facebook group that sparked conversation and gained a lot of comments regarding sidewalks and bike paths on Fortner street and Flowers chapel, which intersects with Brannon Stand Road.

That busy area is home to many businesses, eateries, and even neighborhoods.

“There are neighborhoods within every direction in less than even a half-mile they are in very walkable distance but you have to get in your car to come up here,” Thomas said.

Therefore, Thomas believes sidewalks and bike paths extending to Ross Clark Circle need to be considered along Fortner and Flowers Chapel.

She believes this could be an asset on many levels such as alleviating traffic accidents with pedestrians, property value increasing as well as just having a vibrant and healthier community.

“Many of us know that we have the beautiful Forever Wild Trail over there and instead of trying to fit our bikes into our cars it would be wonderful to go from our neighborhoods to the park,” She said.

Earlier this year, city officials approved some sidewalk expansion projects throughout the city and Mayor Mark Saliba agrees with Thomas’s idea. Mayor Saliba said they have made budgeting plans to make the west side more pedestrian-friendly in years to come.

“The city is a large large place so getting them in all of the districts so there’s a need in all six districts for a sidewalk, so we’re trying to take a bite of the elephant as much as we can every year,” Mayor Mark Saliba said.

Thomas said after visiting out west every summer and seeing small cities benefit from sidewalks connecting communities, she believes it would do wonders for a growing city like Dothan.

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