Walking in Paradise

When walking in Paradise in the near future, be on the look out for new crosswalks or pedestrian underpasses on busy streets, and new walking and bike paths around the town—including a network of trails in a proposed 256-acre park around Octagon and Rocky Ponds and in the new Fairview Development near the park that Mayor Ralph Wiseman calls a “walking village.”

The Town recently released the Paradise Active Transportion Plan in conjunction with its Transportation Study, both prepared by the same engineering firm that concocted St. John’s Cycling Plan, Hatch Mott McDonald.

The plan recommends nearly $2.8 million worth of new paths, crosswalks, and underpasses on current or upcoming development projects, as well as recommendations to promote walking and biking, things the town can do to improve path maintenance, and ways to ensure active transportation is accounted for in future developments as the town continues to grow.

Plans to include walking and biking paths in development is a very good thing, but Wiseman points out that the commissioning of this report does not mean that Paradise is pushing to get people out of their cars anytime soon. Rather, the report will serve as a guide as the town grows, says Wiseman. “It’s what we do for the next five, 10, 20 years.”

While the town, according to Wiseman, agrees with the rest of Hatch Mott McDonald’s advice to promote active transportation with special campaigns and initiatives such as Bike to Work Week and walk to school programs, there is nothing concrete in the works at the moment.