While most of League staff can be found in our Washington, D.C. office, we’re often on the road working one on one with communities across the country.
Last week Education Director Preston Tyree and Bicycle Friendly America Director Bill Nesper were in San Antonio, Texas for the San Antonio Bike Summit. The city invited League staff to come and speak about helping San Antonio become a Bicycle Friendly Community, and we jumped at the opportunity! The Summit was attended by the mayor and city manager, as well as leaders from city departments, local businesses, and cycling organizations. The day was filled with great ideas and next steps to making San Antonio a better place for cycling. The group ended the excellent event with a ride through downtown led by Mayor Julian Castro. Local media picked up the story here and here.
And this past Saturday, Bicycle Friendly America Program Specialist Jeff Peel participated in the PA Mountain Bike Club Summit in Chambersburg, Pa. with our good friends at IMBA and 40 other off-road cycling advocates from across the state. Advocates learned about funding and grant options for trail construction from Michael Piaskowski of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR), as well as the recent work that went into Pennsylvania’s State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) – which addresses both on and off-road cycling issues in accessing the state’s parks and open lands. Recreation Program Manager Heather Bennett discussed the role mountain biking plays in the plan and how, through their tireless advocacy, IMBA now has a seat at the table and is seen as a partner. In working on the plan, DCNR surveyed Pennsylvania residents to find out what they wanted to see change in their community for cyclists, and there was an overwhelming response in favor of more bike lanes, paths and access to trails.
Following the findings of the survey, Peel discussed ways participants can create a Bicycle Friendly Community in their hometown. Building off workshops at the IMBA World Summit, National Bike Summit and IMBA/League collaboration on “Linking Downtown to Dirt” article in Dirt Rag Magazine; Peel described ways communities have used off-road cycling as a way to encourage more bicycling and examples of how off-road riding is being accommodated in urban environments, highlighting High Bridge Park in New York City, Gateway Green in Portland, Ore. and Singletrack Mind Initiative in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The event then moved to the Chambersburg Pump Track. Linked by the Chambersburg Rail Trail and PA Bike Route S, the park is a great example of the type of recreational riding facility both the League and IMBA hope to see communities create more of in the future.
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