Riding a bicycle on the Interstate in Alabama is illegal even though there is a nice wide paved shoulder. Principal arterial roadways, Minor arterial roadways and even Collector roads in the Mobile area are still being designed and built for motor vehicle traffic only. 40 years ago there were bicycle and pedestrian plans and each decade the bicycle transportation plans are ignored. Recently Mobile created another plan to appease cyclists and automobile drivers - this one is the 2035 plan which can be downloaded in full here: http://www.mobilempo.org/bikepedplanning.html
I'll be dead of old age before there is a single north-south and east-west bicycle route to get around safely in Mobile. That shows the sad state of affairs with the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, State, County, and City roadway designers. If roads cannot be built to safely accommodate both bicycles and motor vehicles, they should not be built at all.
It has been interesting to watch other cities over the decades struggle with the same problem of the bicycle being ignored when it comes to transportation plans. Bicycles being ignored is why Critical Mass started happening here in the United States. Progressive countries like Denmark and Columbia, not manipulated by a corporate America that wants you fat, addicted to oil and gas, addicted to eating their highly profitable food garbage, and addicted to their highly expensive medications to treat obesity problems have safe routes for bicycle travel throughout their cities and outer towns. To promote exercise, Bogota closes down as much as 70 miles of roads to motor vehicle traffic one day a week so the entire city can get out and enjoy exercise on the open road without fear of being run over by a car or truck. What does Mobile have? No Bicycle routes to get around the city and a fat Mayor. Several of the National Bicycle Route roads going through Mobile County are not even on the Mobile Bicycle Transportation Plan. Fat chance the National Bicycle Route roads in Mobile County will ever be bicycle friendly.
An upcoming test for the latest "New" Mobile area Bicycle transportation plan will be Broad Street that leads to Brookley which is set to expand into an Airbus aircraft production facility. That means much more traffic around Brookley. The question is, will the transportation planners ignore the current plan and merely repave the Broad Street as it is or will they widen it and include a bicycle lane so bicyclists passing through the area can ride in safety?
If the road gets repaved without a bike lane, you can be sure Mobile will NEVER honor their bicycle transportation plans just like they have not honored them for the past 40 years. With the high price of gas, it may be time for Critical Mass to happen Mobile. Critical Mass is where bicyclists get out on their bicycles once a month and make their own Ciclovia where they can bicycle on the road in the safety of numbers. I can just imagine how frustrated Airbus will be if Broad Street and Perimeter Road are shut down by a massive number of slow moving bicycles during rush hour.
Critical Mass strikes fear in the Corporate Machine so be careful. Do not forget that the politicians who make the laws and the officers enforcing the laws are but puppets of the Machine. The Corporate Machine resists allowing movement toward a society that uses bicycles for daily transportation. Oil use will go down, auto based revenues will go down, and so will the Corporate Machine's profits.
For those interested, there are two videos below on the history of Critical Mass and its possible negative consequence. Denmark, a city that once had Critical Mass rides before Critical Mass was even a term, has a goal to have 50% of commuter traffic using bicycles within 3 years. Check out this video link below: http://video.denmark.dk/video/1708936/green-bicycle-lanes-in
Mobile needs to start implementing their bicycle transportation plan or face the growing frustration of the bicycling community and automotive community who are both forced to use the same narrow lanes. Bicycles and Automobiles can safely coexist, but not in the same narrow lane of traffic. Bicycles do not need all roads to have bicycle lanes, only enough for them to move freely around in cities safely.