Minnesota is friendly for bicyclistsThe League of American Bicyclists recently announced that Minnesota has been named the fourth most bicycle friendly state in the nation – up from the number five slot that the state held in both 2008 and 2009.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
The League of American Bicyclists recently announced that Minnesota has been named the fourth most bicycle friendly state in the nation – up from the number five slot that the state held in both 2008 and 2009.
“Improving and expanding bicycling route options for commuter and recreational bicyclists provides a safe, efficient and enjoyable experience for everyone,” said Tom Sorel, Minnesota Department of Transportation commissioner.
This is the third year that the League of American Bicyclists has awarded Bicycle Friendly State designations. The awards announcement coincides with preparations for Minnesota’s Bike/Walk Week activities June 5–11 – dates set aside to encourage bicycling as a healthy, environmentally- friendly transportation alternative for commuting to work or school and safe bike riding in general.
“Many events have been planned throughout the state during Minnesota Bike/Walk Week,” said Tim Mitchell, Mn/DOT’s state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. “Check our Web site http://www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/ for more information about events planned in St. Cloud, Rochester, Duluth and the Twin Cities metro area.”
“Minnesota is a stand-out state for its initiative and progress to become more bicycle friendly,” said Andy Clarke, league president.
Minnesota improved its ranking due to several factors:
--Formation of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, a new statewide bicycle advocacy group that helped increase the number of certified bicycles instructors from five to more than 50 last year.
--Creation of partnerships with the city of Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota Parking Services, the Humphrey Institute research staff, Transit for Livable Communities and many other entities in an effort to conduct traffic counts for bicycles.
--Creation of “Share the Road”. For five years, this nationally recognized bicycle safety education campaign has helped improve awareness of bicycle laws by both motorists and bicyclists.
--Development of Complete Streets policies by many organizations and communities across Minnesota.
To learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly State program visit: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/.