A day-long bicycle summit, a first for Lexington, will bring together citizens and government and community leaders interested in making the community more bike friendly, Mayor Jim Newberry said today.
“We would like Lexington to be the most bike friendly city in the state because improving opportunities for cycling creates so many opportunities for our city and its citizens,” Newberry said. “In addition to recreation, bikes can be alternative transportation and bicycle trails and lanes are economic development tools and paths to improved health.”
The day-long summit will feature Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, a national organization that promotes bicycling for fun, fitness, transportation and work through advocacy and education. Clarke will announce whether Lexington has earned recognition as a bike-friendly community under the organization’s Bike Friendly Community Program.
In addition there will be workshops on bike facilities, safety, education, health and wellness, bike tourism and local bike culture.
In recent months, Lexington has made considerable progress in making the city more bike friendly, with generous support from the state.
Lexington has constructed one trail this summer, the Liberty Park Trail, and work has begun on the second phase of Town Branch Trail. Next month, construction will begin on two trails, the Wellington Bike and Pedestrian Facility and South Elkhorn Trail. The city currently has 10 miles of shared use trails.
In addition, Newberry and the Urban County Council incorporated $2 million in the city budget, and the state recently committed an additional $3.35 million for bike trails. The city is in the process of identifying how the $2 million will be used. The state funds will be used for Coldstream Park Trail, Town Branch Trail, Maine Chance Trail and Gainesway Trail.
This summer, the state also included a total of six miles of bike lanes in resurfacing on several Lexington major corridors, including Winchester Road, Tates Creek Road, Lane Allen Road and Richmond Road, which now has continuous bike lanes from the outer edge of the city to near downtown, a first. Currently, the city has 19 miles of bike lanes.
The summit will be held from 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, at the University of Kentucky Student Center. A reception will follow from 5-7 p.m. Approximately 150 people are expected to attend. The summit is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information or to register call 258-3605 or visit www.bikelexington.com.
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