STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The Locksley Way path connects existing walkways and bike paths in Starkville.
Area businesses say features like this help the city’s growth. Its infrastructure like this that residents say makes Starkville a better place to live.
Terry Long is the manager at Central Station Grill in Starkville. He’s lived in the city since 2005.
He said the Starkville we see today is vastly different from the Starkville almost 15 years ago.
“You drove everywhere. The public transportation wasn’t going. It wasn’t there. Now, you’ve got the SMART buses going. You can pretty much walk from Main Street to the Cotton District, all the way to campus. There’s some more construction work right now. Once it gets finished, I think it’s going to be a very easy, well-lit walk or bike ride to and from all the way from City Hall to Dudy Noble,” said Long.
Long expressed the infrastructure has become so pedestrian-friendly, that it’s changed his restaurant’s business model.
“What we’ve seen over the last couple of years is a lot of walk-up to-go business. We’ve got some apartment complexes behind us and right next to us. They literally call and they walk right into the front door, and we bring it right to them. You know, instead of doing curb-side because they’re closer to the front door than they are the curb-side parking,” said Long.
Right next door at Boardtown Bikes, manager Matthew Nunes said he’s also noticed a healthy change in the city.
“The infrastructure in Starkville has been improving for many, many years. Lots of groups have worked in the past, Starkville Cycling Club, Starkville In Motion, planted a lot of the early seeds for biking and walking paths, so it’s been improving,” said Nunes.
He said those seeds are bearing fruit in the form of improved overall quality of life.
“This will hopefully make bicycling and walking and all those things something that people are more comfortable with which is, of course, good for us,” said Nunes.
“I think the city growing and being conscious of its growth and trying to have ways and avenues of people traveling to and fro without having to have a car and use vehicles where they can walk, they can bike, they have pubic transportation, I do think that is a benefit to the town. It helps the town grow,” said Long.
The city is currently working on a side-walk project along Louisville Street. Once the project is complete, the sidewalk will connect to the new Locksley Way path.