Decision by city to seek grant to fund new bike path is a move in the right direction for Vicksburg

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The recent decision by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to seek up to $30,000 in Delta Regional Authority grant funds for a bike trail through the city is a move toward improving the city’s attractiveness as a tourist destination.

The grant is part of the DRA’s Placemaking Initiative, which is designed to strengthen the Delta region’s economy, improve the quality of life for the region’s residents and stimulate community and economic development efforts by taking advantage of the region’s arts and cultural areas.

The grant program is part of a $460,000 investment by the authority to help communities in the region.

It’s a program than can help Vicksburg better promote and display our area’s history and culture.

The proposed project, city grants coordinator Marcia Weaver said, “Is a dedicated bicycle trail route through downtown and surrounding historic sites. It would connect with the Mississippi River Trail, the MRT and the Mississippi Blues trail.”

She said children from the Southern Heritage Cultural Center’s River Kids afterschool arts program will design and paint roadside markers for the proposed trail.

“This program is really aimed at economic development,” Weaver said. “We’re hoping it will be an added attraction to those we already have in our community.

“Cycling groups, local residents can come and see what our town has to offer.”

Vacations have become more than just going to the beach or the mountains to relax and fish or catch some sun, or tour museums. People want more, and that means doing things like walking and cycling tours of cities or special areas of a city, such as the French Quarter in New Orleans, or sections of Boston, Mass.

The Vicksburg National Military Park, with its hills and monuments is, and has been, an attraction for cyclists, and so is Vicksburg’s downtown and historic districts. Our old homes and historic sites downtown are easily accessible by bicycle and the city’s hills also provide good exercise.

Our city leaders said during the election they wanted to build Vicksburg into a tourism destination, and establishing a dedicated bike trail is one way to make the city more attractive to people who want to visit our area and see more of our history than the Military Park. It is a step in the right direction to make Vicksburg more unique and attractive to visitors.