Alex Whittington

Alex Whittington was hit by a car last October while riding his bike home from school on Nail Road and asked the Board of Aldermen to consider building more bike paths.

 

Alex Whittington was riding his bike home from school last October along Nail Road East when he was hit by a car just before the Belle Point subdivision.

He hit the windshield and was thrown from his bike into the ditch, but fortunately avoided major injury and death.

“I was wearing a helmet which probably saved my life,” Whittington said. “Other drivers and neighbors stopped and helped me. They called an ambulance and stayed with me until the ambulance arrived.”

Whittington told his story to the Southaven Board of Aldermen at its Oct. 18 meeting and asked officials to please fund more bike paths to avoid future accidents like his so that biker riders in the city can share the roads more safely with cars.

“Over the past year I have noticed more sidewalks and bike paths around Southaven, especially around my school, Snowden Grove Park, and Silo Square,” Whittington said. “I would love to see more sidewalks and bike lanes around Southaven.”

Whittington received a round of applause from Mayor Darren Musselwhite and the Board of Aldermen who praised him for bringing the matter to their attention.

“I’m so glad you are okay, that you were able to withstand that,” Musselwhite said. “You’re a tough dude. You’re doing something good, sending a message to the leadership of the city and all of the citizens how important it is to have pedestrian lanes that are designated separate from vehicular traffic. We really appreciate you coming forward and appreciate your message.”

Musselwhite said Whittington’s story shows exactly why the city has been investing in more bike lanes and multi-use trails so as to safety connect neighborhoods to the city’s parks. 

“You say it better than I can say it or anybody up here can say it,  but that’s why we do what we do to make it more pedestrian safe,” Musselwhite said.

Musselwhite said the area on Nail Road where Whittington was hit by a car narrows and isn’t presently wide enough to have a bike path or pedestrian trail. 

“One of the reasons we haven’t done that until Alex’s accident is because we try to build trails where they have connectivity all over the city so it goes somewhere,” Musselwhite said. “We looked at putting a multi-use trail kind of like we did at Snowden and some other places, but what you don’t want to do is confuse drivers having part of it a multi-use trail and part of it a bike lane.”

He told the youngster that the city does have a plan to widen that part of Nail Road and add a bike path that will connect Snowden Grove Park to Belle Point.

“This will pretty much dead end into Belle Point,” Musselwhite said. “But what happened to him is just a small area that we can fix to make it safer. So we are going to do that.”

 

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