Dublin Villager

Promoting cycling helps Dublin receive award

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Dublin has pedaled its way onto a list of cities that make cycling a real transportation and recreation option for its residents.

The city earned a bronze Bicycle Friendly Community ranking from the League of American Bicyclists, a feat not accomplished by many other communities.

"This designation makes Dublin the sixth community in the state of Ohio to be named at the bonze level," Dublin Mayor Tim Lecklider said, noting Columbus, Westerville, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton have also earned the designation.

According to the League of American Bicyclists website, last year Ohio ranked 32nd among bicycle friendly states and had five bicycle friendly cities, eight businesses and one university that held the title.

To earn the designation, a city must embrace a plan to make a bikeable community by providing safe opportunities and encouraging cycling.

During an Oct. 14 meeting, Lecklider said Dublin worked toward to designation by establishing the Bicycle Advisory Task Force that came up with ways to increase safe cycling routes and create cycling groups and events.

"This would not have been achieved without the (Bicycle Advisory Task Force)," Lecklider said before naming Oct. 18 Bicycle Friendly Community Day for the new honor.

Councilman John Reiner, who sat on the task force and petitioned for its creation also applauded the work that led to the designation.

The task force created a plan for a bicycling network that will take residents safely around Dublin, he said.

Multi-use trails have been completed and are underway on Glick Road, the south portion of Dublin Road and Brand Road to increase routes.

More trails have been funded in the five-year capital improvement plan, Reiner said.

"Sometimes we get calls when something tragic happens in the community and someone is hit or injured," he said.

"I think working out the details will prevent a lot of these calls."

Catering to cyclists could also help draw young professionals to Dublin, Reiner said.

"Kids now graduate from college and move to where they want to be," he said.

"It's very important for us to create that environment here in our city that they want to come back to. The bike component is very important ... ."

The Bicycle Advisory Task Force also led to the creation of the Bicycle Ambassador program that places resident volunteers on bike paths to help other cyclists with way finding, safety tips and to keep the paths maintained.

As the Bicycle Ambassador program grows and the construction of more paths continues, Dublin hopes to improve its standing as a Bicycle Friendly community.

The designation is valid for four years and Dublin must reapply in 2017.

"We received the bronze designation this time and the next step is silver," Michelle Crandall, assistant city manager, told council members.

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