Natchez Trace is not a bike trailPublished 12:01am Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Regarding the article of July 15, “Trace safety an issue for bikers,” the fact remains that a parkway (“a broad thoroughfare for travel; a public road”) is not a bicycle path, even if the speed limit is a low 50 mph.
A bicycle path, most commonly found near a public road, is a narrow path, commonly of asphalt, which parallels the main thoroughfare.
It need only follow the roadway on one side and would be a commendable addition to the Natchez Trace Parkway, removing the biker from both the fumes and the danger of passing cars.
For drivers following bikers, it would free them from exercising the restraint equal to that required when traveling behind a tractor or funeral procession.
Especially this is so when, given the many blind curves of the Parkway, passing is not an option.
The allocation of funds to lay an asphalt strip parallel to the Trace would be money well spent and add credibility to the now misleading signs picturing a bicycle, which imply such a path.
An entirely separate hurdle facing bikers and hikers from out of state is the absence of published information of a shuttle or car rental service in Natchez which would get them back to Jackson to catch a flight home.
Not being one of the big three, the single-car rental agency in our area does not advertise its existence in sport and travel publications highlighting the Trace, leading many bikers to cut their travels short of Natchez.