BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — As the city of Brandon grows, planning for recreation opportunities is more important than ever. The city is getting closer to creating a safe place for bike riders. Brandon hired a consulting firm out of Denver to help come up with a plan for a bike-pedestrian path within the city. Those findings were presented to the park board Wednesday evening at city hall.
Riley McKeown knows all too well that it’s not always easy to feel safe riding a bike in Brandon.
3 years ago a driver hit Riley at a crosswalk. Luckily his mother made sure he wore his helmet.
“So we are kind of the poster children for bicycle safety,” said Jen McKeown.
Years before Riley’s crash, Jen was run off the road in Brandon by a truck that didn’t stop.
“I ended up in the hospital, broke some bones and things like that.”
Jen says the city has always been responsive and is glad to see work on a new bicycle-pedestrian plan.
Longtime Brandon resident and current City Council member Dave Kull says the city is growing, especially to the east.
“There’s really no place, as far as an accessible bike path for people, kids, adults to ride from the east side to the west side of town,” said Kull.
The Bike pedestrian plan for Brandon is different from the one in Sioux Falls. It’s not a continuous paved path, rather a network of paths, trails and sometimes bike lanes on streets.
“We are looking at closing existing gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian system in the city and possibly proposing some new facilities,” consultant Will Kerns said.
Kerns will present his findings to the park board and is looking for feedback from residents.
“We have a great project website built to collect feedback, it has an interactive, map where people can literally draw lines on the map to give their ideas on potential trails or potential bike paths that they would like to see,” said Kerns.
“I absolutely support anything that would give bicyclists and pedestrians a place to walk and a place to ride even more miles of trail than what we have right now, I think it would be a great addition to the community,” said McKeown.