Biking (and Walking) the Bankhead

Bikers found a shady, cool, and unique bike ride this morning as they traveled under the Mobile River. This morning was the second time ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation) closed the Bankhead Tunnel to motor vehicles and allowed bikers and pedestrians through the tunnel.

ALDOT goal is to make roads safer and more efficient for all modes of transportation. Many biking organization’s requested more opportunities to travel under the Mobile River. ALDOT has used the past two Saturday mornings as test runs. Many people took advantage of it.

“We were doing our morning miles and decided to run through the tunnel since it was open an hour later, and actually have been surprised at how many people are here enjoying it,” said Tim Ard, Daphne Resident.

“We opened it from six to nine, and we had over 707 participants,” Cheyenne West, ALDOT Community Relations Officer. “Last week we opened the tunnel from five to seven and we had about 150 participants. So it’s a significant increase.”

ALDOT wants to continue opening the Bankhead to bikers and pedestrians on Saturday mornings. One thing that may change is the time that it is closed.

“We will review traffic impacts from this Saturday,” said West. “We are going to review a city traffic signal on south Royal Street to see if it’s possible if we can give it more green time to allow traffic to, you know, to continue to flow better.”

News Five went through a slow Wallace Tunnel as the Bankhead was re-opening to cars. However, this appeared to be the same amount of traffic for a typical Saturday morning on Interstate-10.

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