Through the efforts of the Lake Mary Road partnership and the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO), $855,000 was granted October 30th to widen the shoulders of Lake Mary Road for 4.3 miles on both sides of the road. This section of road has long been a challenge for cyclists heading to Lake Mary for the popular road riding available on the wide shoulders from lower Lake Mary to Mormon Lake. The narrow, hilly and limited visibility road linking to Lake Mary has proven dangerous to cyclist and drivers over the years, and bike lanes from the city will greatly enhance this popular bike ride.

According to FMPO, sky-rocketing construction costs threatened to derail this long-desired project that will greatly enhance bicyclist and driver safety along 4.3 miles of Lake Mary Road. Working with partners, FMPO on behalf of the City of Flagstaff successfully demonstrated the need for paved shoulders to support bicycling traffic and safety and its additional benefit to regional transit. “Its exciting to work with professionals around the region and the country to further establish Lake Mary Road as a world-class cycling venue” says David Wessel, FMPO Manager.

Organizations involved with the project are FHWA – Central lands division, City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, USFS, FMPO and FTA through the Alternate Transportation for Parks and Public Lands (ATPPL.) This $855,685 ATPPL Grant represents the amount needed to pave the 8-ft. bicycle lanes on both sides with asphalt pavement to enhance safety and function of the four miles of FH-3 or Lake Mary Road within the City Limits. This will connect to the existing improved/widened section currently maintained by Coconino County. In addition to enhancing bicycle use, Mountain Line bus system will provide a public transportation link for bikers to utilize by taking the bus out to a drop-off point on Lake Mary Road, which reduces the use of vehicles on the roadway.

“Here’s an accomplishment worth noting and a good example of the awards out there within the framework of our Environmental Management System. It also demonstrates what can be achieved through teamwork that otherwise might not be possible,” says John Booth, P.E., Engineering Staff Officer for the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests. Learn more about the project at the Federal Register link .

This funding, together with contributions made by the Forest Service through the FHWA Forest Highways program and contributions from the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County, will guarantee that this important safety enhancement project is fully-funded. The main project components include the following:

  • adding 8-ft. shoulders to Lake Mary Road from J.W. Powell south to the City limits
  • adding turn lanes to campgrounds and recreation areas
  • adding or replacing guard rail at dangerous locations
  • improving the Mormon Lake overlook parking area
  • overall cost: $13.9 million

For more information contact David Wessel, FMPO Manager, at (928) 226-4841 or by email .

The Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization is responsible for comprehensive transportation planning in the region extending from Bellemont to Winona and Sunset Crater to Kachina Village. For more information on the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization visit