PERRY, Ga. — As biking becomes a more popular way to commute, a woman who lives in Houston County says the state highway in front of her neighborhood is driving her crazy.
Ellen Mazzarella likes to ride her bike as often as possible, for her health and to be nicer to the earth. She says her section of Perry Parkway is not so bike-friendly.
"My name is Ellen. I live on Grayton Way and Perry Parkway is driving me crazy,” Mazzarella says.
To get to restaurants and stores, she says you must ride along Perry Parkway, but she says there's no safe place to ride your bike to avoid traffic. She says she rides as close to the road's margin as possible.
"On the other side of the white line, you would be encountering rumble strips, so it's impossible to ride your bike there. You can either risk something happening to your bike on the rumble strips, or you can risk a driver not seeing you and then either getting hit or clipped,” she explains.
When Mazzarella isn’t watching for cars, she's dodging debris.
"Car-related debris, gravel, things that people have clearly thrown out of their car, and altogether that can add up to things that can puncture your tire,” Mazzarella says.
Gina Snider is the local spokeswoman for the State Department of Transportation’s third district.
"Just call us and we'll take care of it,” she says.
Snider might have some good news for folks like Mazzerella, and says cleaning up debris is a quick call away.
“We always ask the public to call either 511, or I can give you an 800 number direct line to our operations center. We'll dispatch maintenance, cruise out to the state route and clean up if it needs to be,” she says.
Snider says it’s also possible to add bike lanes to a state road, and they've done it before on Houston Lake Road in 2009.
"Warner Robins Metropolitan Planning Organization is out there. They handle all the transportation planning for Houston County. So, they would be the ones to talk to about possibly a future mobility plan for that area," she said.
At the time of filming this, Snider told us that the debris in the area has already been cleaned up. The number for the Department of Transportation direct line is 888-488-4368 if you have any concerns with road debris.
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