Permian Basin Bicycle Association and Permian Basin MPO working on bicycle corridor study

Permian Basin Bicycle Association and Permian Basin MPO working on bicycle corridor study
(Source: KWES)

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Permian Basin Bicycle Association is working with the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization to get a bicycle corridor put up in between Midland and Odessa.

They hope to encourage safety for both drivers and cyclists but there's another reason why they believe they need.

Camron Stotts and Mike Mestas were part of the Permian Basin Bicycle Association. Tragically, they lost their lives just a few weeks ago to a drunk driver.

Buffalo Bur's Custom Cycles, right on Big Spring Street is where Stotts and Mestas have stopped by in the past.

"Just solid guys, they were the guys in the community everyone knew whether you knew them on personal or professional level, everyone knew their name and could recognize their face," said Stephanie Ledford, owner and operator of Buffalo Bur's Custom Cycles. "Just genuine wanted to help you especially in the cycling and running community. Just fantastic advocates of our sport."

Both were killed on highway 158 on April 25. Although they were wearing helmets and riding on the improved shoulder lane, they still didn't make it home to their families that night.

"I would say 90% of this bicycle community in this area is proactive in bicycle safety," said Ledford. "I want motorists to be aware and to share the road. There's plenty of room and drive safely and responsibly and same thing when we're on our bicycles."

Now, an ongoing mission to get a 12 to 14 mile bicycle corridor is still in the works. Stretching from Midland to Odessa, the corridor will be used as a pathway to cyclists and other pedestrians.

The Permian Basin MPO allocated $42,000 dollars for the bicycle corridor study to see where they can place it. The cyclist community also has ideas to help raise funds in the private sector.

"We're members of your community. we're your little league coaches, your engineers, we're not any different," said Ledford. "We just do a different form of recreation. I mean we all want to go at the end of the day."

It shouldn't take another life like Stotts' or Mestas' to show that the need for a safe path would stop ghost bikes like these to serve as a reminder for safety.

There was a third cyclist with Stotts and Mestas who made it out alive while the drunk driver is being held on a bond of $275,000 for all charges.

The MPO met with three firms this week to select a company to conduct the study. They haven't hired a consultant yet. But this is still an ongoing process. The next meeting will be open to the public on May 21 and it'll be at the MPO office at 5 p.m.

To stay up to date with the Permian Basin Bicycle Association, click here.

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