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Posted on: July 26, 2017

CITY OF BROOKINGS RECOGNIZED AS BRONZE BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY

The League of American Bicyclists recently recognized the City of Brookings as a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC), which was part of the largest application process in the program’s 13-year history. In total, 140 communities applied for recognition, a 62 percent increase from the previous round of applicants. Brookings joins more than 400 communities in all 50 states that are transforming our neighborhoods and making biking better with a BFC award.

“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Vice President of Programs at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”

The Bronze BFC award recognizes Brookings’ commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. The BFC program provides a benchmark for communities to evaluate these conditions and policies, while highlighting areas for improvement.

In celebration of the Bronze BFC designation, the City of Brookings is inviting community members to participate in the Mayor’s Ride & Walk on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 5:30 pm. Join Mayor Keith W. Corbett and the Brookings Bicycle Advisory Committee (BBAC) on a tour of Brookings, which is open to all ages and skill levels. This event was established to create, enhance, and promote opportunities for walking, biking, and running for residents and visitors and to promote fitness and healthy physical activity.

“Please join me for a walk or ride that showcases our beautiful parks & recreational trails and ends with the Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze Award at Downtown at Sundown,” encouraged Mayor Corbett. “Our Bicycle Master Plan was a pivotal step in obtaining this Bronze Award and is a roadmap for improving bicycling conditions and institutionalizing processes for continuous improvement, which has already been implemented in some of our current city projects.”

The ride begins at 5:30 pm on Kidoodle Way in front of the Children’s Museum of South Dakota and ends right at Main Avenue at Downtown at Sundown. Participants may choose from two routes. The first is a two-mile round-trip bike or walk from Kidoodle Way to Hillcrest Park and back. The second is a ten-mile loop (which more experienced bike riders may prefer) which also begins on Kidoodle Way, but then connects and follows the recreational trail around Brookings. There will be stops along the way for water and restroom breaks at city parks. Bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets. Both rides will end at Downtown at Sundown (Main Avenue & 5th Street) with live music, food, family fun and the official Bicycle Friendly Community Designation.

Since the Bicycle Master Plan was adopted in February, Brookings has taken several steps to implement the recommendations. The Engineering Department is currently installing extended gutter pans and our first bicycle push buttons at the intersection of 2nd Street S & Main Avenue S. Additionally, they are working on preparing the south side of 5th Street S intersection for a future shared use path connecting Medary Elementary and Brookings High School. Further, a grant application is in process to connect the eastside hotels to the Allyn Frerichs Trail, as well as the city is looking at applications for a corridor planning study grant to connect the trail loop.

To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community. The Bicycle Friendly Community SM, Bicycle Friendly State SM, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University SM programs are generously supported by program partner Planet Bike. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA

The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

For event details or more information, contact City Hall, (605) 692-6281, sthornes@cityofbrookings.org or check out the Brookings Bicycle Advisory Committee on Facebook. 
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