Greensboro, NC -- Tuesday, Greensboro City Council will discuss if the city will apply for a Bicycle-Friendly Community award.
Greensboro previously applied for the designation through the League of American Bicyclists in 2009 and was recognized as a "Bronze-Level Bicycle Community." That designation expires in October 2013 and City Council will have to determine if there is enough support to renew its status for 2013-2017 before an approaching application deadline.
There is no fee to apply.
The city's resolution outlines four benefits for maintaining the designation of a Bicycle-Friendly Community:
- Greater visibility of the city's efforts to improve bicycling conditions.
- Heightened awareness for community members of bicycling opportunities for transportation, recreation and health.
- Increasing bike safety and awareness on the roads.
- Support community and economic development by growing awareness of the city's quality of life.
Director of Transportation Adam Fischer says there are 12 miles of bike lanes in Greensboro along with nine miles of edgelines and 35 miles of shared-use paths. Currently, bike lanes exist on Spring Garden Street, Florida Street, Phillips Avenue, Westridge Road and part of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, according to Fischer.
"Overall [Greensboro] is a safe biking community, and we're working to evolve," said Fischer. He cited projects such as the Downtown Greenway and the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway. He mentioned that construction of more trails and bike lanes are planned.
Executive Director of Bicycling in Greensboro Laura Peoples agreed that the infrastructure is improving and said there is more connectivity between off-road and on-road facilities.
"When people have a safe route to ride their bicycles and it becomes part of their daily routine it has the biggest health impacts," said Peoples. "With more safety measures and connectivity, it is easier to take a bike and go across the city; it's easier to go out and exercise."
Peoples also feels that maintaining a Bicycle-Friendly Community designation will have an economic impact on Greensboro. "Businesses considering Greensboro look at what types of transportation and alternative types of transportation the city provides. It has an impact on their decision to come here."
The League of American Bicyclists ranks North Carolina as the 28th bicycle-friendly state in the nation. UNCG is one of two universities in the state that is certified as bicycle-friendly.