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Posts tagged ‘bikelakeland’

21
Oct
bikelakeland

BikeLakeland: The New (Old) Direction

Dear Lakeland Cyclists,

BikeLakeland was founded to be an advocate for cyclists of all stripes, but our focus was always the cycling commuters and recreational cyclists. We’re proud of our work helping to establish bike parking in downtown Lakeland, our part helping Lakeland get named a League of American Bicylists Bicycle Friendly City, and as a co-sponsor of Lakeland’s BikeBash.

But we’ve been quiet these past few months. It was intentional. We wanted to make a change.

Gone were the days we could attend every city meeting that concerned cycling. We no longer wanted to organize social rides or events. We felt there were other voices that wanted to step up.

So we decided to retool; to refocus.

We’re going back to our roots: presenting information that speaks to our core focus: improving the experience for the bicycle commuter.

BikeLakeland charges no dues and has no membership requirements. Simply follow us here and on Facebook. We promise to post informative and thought-provoking cycling articles that speak to our core values. We hope they help you, and the community, continue to enjoy a Bicycle Friendly City.

But we should not be your only cycling advocate. There are many philosophies in the cycling world and it’s a rare group that encompasses all needs. We encourage you to investigate other cycling groups.

Here’s two newer Lakeland groups we feel are working to improve the community:

Bicyling in Lakeland
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bicycling-In-Lakeland/1527531124134666

Lakeland Critical Mass
https://www.facebook.com/groups/839318296080467/

Each has a distinct view toward improving cycling and we applaud their efforts. It’s a great time to be a cyclist.

18
Oct
Lakeland

Lakeland Named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists

Lakeland has been designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by The League of American Bicyclists (LAB). Recognized on their first application to the League, Lakeland received kudos for their education efforts. The city now joins eight other Florida communities and over 200 communities nationwide to receive the designation by the League. Other than “bragging rights”, cities designated as bicycle friendly are provided “incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition” by the LAB. In addition to improving conditions for commuter and recreational cyclists, bicycle-friendly cities attract biking tourists and are a selling point for prospective business relocation.

What does it take to be named a bicycle-friendly community? A city must excel in five categories: Education, Engineering, Enforcement. Encouragement and Evaluation.

Education: Does the community have systems in place to train children and adult cyclists?
Engineering: Are bicyclists included in the city’s transportation plan?
Enforcement: Do police officers understand and enforce bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities?
Encouragement: Does the community participate in Bike Month, offer bike rodeos, host community bike rides, or otherwise encourage cycling?
Evaluation: Does the community have methods in place to ensure their bicyclist programs are making a difference? — League of American Bicyclists

The designation process began in March when BikeLakeland made a formal request to the City of Lakeland to spearhead the effort to apply for the Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

The BFC application process can assist and focus city bicycling efforts, provide a valuable measurement of results over time and a comparison with other communities. BikeLakeland has already started the process to gather data for the BFC application. However, a successful submission needs the City of Lakeland to serve as the prime applicant. We request your support of the BFC application and ask that you designate someone from Community Development as the city’s Bicycle Program Manager and application coordinator — BikeLakeland to Tony Delgado, March 19, 2012

The Lakeland City Commission issued a proclamation on May 21st directing staff to submit an application. While many city staff contributed to the effort, it was spearheaded by Richard Perez, a Senior Planner in the Community Development department. BikeLakeland worked with Perez to help prepare the application for the July deadline.

BikeLakeland appreciates the strong effort by city staff to improve Lakeland’s commitment to bicycling. Promoting bike lanes, improving bike trails and other initiatives make cycling easier, safer and more inclusive for all Lakeland’s citizens.

However, there is much more work to do. Being designated a Bicycle Friendly Community is not a permanent award. The designation is good for four years and must be renewed. Combine that with Lakeland’s Bronze designation, and it means we still have improvements to make. The LAB will help us identify areas in need of improvement, but we must work together as citizens and city staff to ensure improvements are made. In 2016 we can reapply and look forward to receiving an even higher designation.

Ranked 21st in the nation, Florida has nine communities designated as Bicycle Friendly. They’re listed on the League of American Bicyclists website: