City unveils bikes available to guests of the St. JamesPublished 10:39pm Thursday, October 17, 2013
The city of Selma has made another investment in the historic St. James Hotel. Guests will now have the opportunity to rent a bike and tour downtown Selma during their stay.
The city received a $5,000 grant to purchase 10 bicycles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the Department of Public Health.
Members of the Selma City Council helped announce the new feature by test-driving the bikes through downtown Thursday.
Selma Mayor George Evans said the bikes would initially be for guests St. James Hotel guests but may later be available to all Selma residents.
“We just want people to be able to tour downtown and enjoy their time here,” Evans said. “Doing something like this is important for recreation and health but it also good for tourism. It’s nice to be able to cruise through downtown Selma at a slow pace rather than riding in a car and trying to see buildings.”
Ward 8 Selma City Councilman Michael Johnson said the bikes rode smoothly, but may need a few adjustments before they are put to use.
Selma City Council President Corey Bowie may have been the most enthusiastic about the new bikes. He disappeared for nearly 15 minutes during his bike ride.
“I bet he just rode home,” Ward 4 Selma City Councilwoman Angela Benjamin said.
Though no plans have been made, Evans said he would like to look into purchasing additional bicycles for the city and possibly create a bike trail through downtown.
Two weeks ago, Urban Studio — an Auburn outreach program based in Birmingham — visited Selma to create plans to revitalize two blocks of Water Avenue and a portion of Broad Street.
Part of the group’s plans included a bike trail. Evans said he will ask the group to draft a blue print of a bike trail.