URBANA — A mayoral candidate hopes to change what he considers a negative for the city.
Rex Bradfield says bike paths, scattered throughout the city, are a headache for drivers and have even caused some businesses to close.
He has a radio ad addressing those concerns and has included comments on the campaign materials he’s been handing out. Bradfield says, if he’s elected, they’ll be a thing of the past.
“The problem, when you put them on the main streets, there are ten things that are wrong about it and one thing that is right.”
Bradfield is in the running to be the city’s next mayor. One thing he plans to do if he’s elected is clear up some traffic congestion.
“It’s very difficult to develop businesses and get people to invest their money when you’re denying them the right to get their prospective customers.”
He’s referring to bike paths, like those near Philo Road. Bradfield says they’re everywhere in town and do more than just clog roads.
“Congestion of the traffic has caused County Market to leave and it’s also cause Ace Hardware to leave and there’s lots of businesses out there that are hanging on by a thread.”
Bradfield’s plans to do away with the paths on busy roads has been a focus throughout his campaign.
“I would immediately remove those bicycle paths from Washington Street and Florida Avenue and all the main avenues.”
He believes, if they’re removed, it could even boost the economy.
“People get so angry having to sit there and do that they stop frequenting the businesses there.”
Bradfield says he’s not against bicyclists, he just doesn’t think they’re safe on busy roads. He suggests putting lines on some of the less busy roads and maybe even lowering the speed limits in those areas.
His opponent, Diane Marlin, does not have the same opinion about the paths.
She says, “Categorically, bike lanes on Philo Road have nothing to do with the County Market closing. The County Market closing was a decision made by corporate.”