Bloomington Recognized As Bicycle Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists visited Bloomington today to present five awards to the city, local businesses and Indiana University.

bikes

Photo: Alex Roy

The city, Indiana University, Bloomingfoods and the Bloomington Bicycle Club all received awards Thursday.

The city received a bronze “Bicycle Friendly Community” award in 2003, and was upgraded to silver today. The Bloomington Bicycle Club was named “Club of the Year,” and Bloomingfoods received a bronze “Bicycle Friendly Business” award.

Indiana University was given a bronze “Bicycle Friendly University” award and is one of twenty universities in the nation to be recognized, the first in the state. Bill Nesper, the director of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America Program said the league was impressed by the university’s bicycle friendly infrastructure, the large amount of bike parking available and the way people are encouraged to bike confidently and safely. But the biggest factor in IU’s favor was the Little 500.

“It isn’t done anywhere else in this way, it’s the model. And so the bike culture that comes from that, there are a lot of things that go into the event promotion, getting people interested in bikes,” Nesper said.

Indiana University Director of Sustainability Bill Brown said that roughly 1,800 people ride bikes to campus every day and if those people decided to drive instead, four more parking garages would have to be installed totaling an additional 14 acres of parking space. He emphasized that it’s important to have a city that is bike-conscious so that the campus can benefit as well.

“People who are commuting to the campus have to use city streets, the streets that go through campus are city-owned streets, so it’s very important for us to collaborate with the city and work with them to make sure we have an integrated system,” Brown said.

Following the presentation, a meeting was held in which the league discussed how Bloomington and the university can  become a better biking environment to reach the ultimate goal of platinum status.

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