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Concord Becomes First Bicycle Friendly Community In New Hampshire
Concord, NH - September 21, 2010 Concord has been recognized as the first community in New Hampshire, and only the fourth in New England, as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists.
Bicycle Friendly Community awards are intended to educate and reward communities for actively supporting bicycling. Various groups in Concord have been working for several years to make Concord a more bicycle friendly community. With the approval of the Concord City Council, the City applied for and was granted the designation.
“While cycling enthusiasts will note that there hasn’t exactly been a proliferation of new bike lanes and bike paths in Concord , the League recognized Concord ’s quiet but steady progress in a much broader range of areas,” said Pete Rhodes, Chair of the Bicycle Subcommittee.
Each applicant community is scored in the areas of engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. Concord was recognized for its many programs that promote cycling, including:
§ Safe Routes to School Program (active since 2001)
§ Green Commute Week (annually in May)
§ Fossil Free Fridays (monthly)
§ Concord ’s bicycle safety video
§ Police officers that patrol on bicycle
§ A City Council adopted “complete streets” policy for city streets
§ Development of a Bicycle Master Plan
§ Bike or Walk to School Day (each October)
§ Recreational riding along the 20 paved and unpaved hiking and biking trails in the city
§ The expanding network of bike lanes and paths, including road improvements along Clinton Street, North State Street and Fisherville Road
§ Development of the North-South Bike Route
§ Bike racks on city buses
§ Bike Education classes at Rundlett Middle School
Just two years ago, the City Council under the direction of Mayor Jim Bouley formed the Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) which was charged with, among other things, proposing policy, developing plans and making recommendations for the improved use of bicycles in Concord .
“Over the last two years, the Bicycle Subcommittee, with the support and cooperation of the City Council, the City’s engineering staff, the School Board, Concord 2020, PATH, local businesses and the Central NH Planning Commission, has made a lot of progress that is only starting to become visible,” said Dick Lemieux, Chair of TPAC and member of the Bicycle Subcommittee. “We are all pleased and proud of our designation,” he said.
Between 2003, when LAB began the award program, and 2010, more than sixty percent of communities that applied failed to meet the criteria.
“Earning the Bronze designation is fantastic. This award recognizes the efforts of the many groups and individuals who have been working to make Concord more bike friendly. We know we have areas we can improve, but we are thrilled the award confirms we are on the right track and leading the way for New Hampshire ,” said Mayor Jim Bouley. “I know it’s only a matter of time until we rise to the silver, gold, and platinum level award!”
The Bicycle Subcommittee of the Transportation Policy Advisory Committee’s mission is to facilitate the integration of safe cycling into the Concord transportation network. The committee acts as an advisory committee to the City Council on bicycling issues.
The League of American Bicyclists was established in 1880 as a non-profit organization with a mission to “promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America ”. They are a leader in bicycling advocacy nationwide
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