While the state puts together a new motorcyle-industry-funded propaganda organ to fluff up some scientific looking numbers on the value of the Sturgis rally, Sioux Falls is looking to promote that other form of two-wheeling. Thom Gabrukiewicz (we need more reporters with names like that) of that Sioux Falls paper reports that the city is applying for official Bike Friendly Community status through the League of American Bicyclists. City planner Sam Trebilcock says the designation will be good publicity and will help the city will help the city map its assets and plan improvements.
Perhaps Madison's new recreation trail commissioner, Nick Abraham (darn! no pic on the city web yet!), can take a swing at promoting Madison by getting our fair city involved in the Bike Friendly Community application process. The criteria for qualifying—the Five E's—look like good goals for any community:
- Engineering: what we build to support bicycling, like bike lanes and multi-use paths in the community (in, not just out on the edge).
- Education: providing safety information and teaching cyclists and motorists how to get along.
- Encouragement: signs, maps, community events, bike clubs.
- Enforcement: bike cops, fair enforcement of rules for motorists and cyclists, clear bike laws.
- Evaluation & Planning: basing city actions on data and clear plans.
Otherwise, fulfilling the standards of the Bike Friendly Community designation would be a progressive project for Madison. And its doable, even for small towns: the Bike Friendly Community master list for Spring 2009 includes some non-metropolitan places, such as...
- South Sioux City, Nebraska (population 11,925)
- Steamboat Springs, Colorado (pop. 9815)
- Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (significantly bigger than Madison at pop. 41,983, but too beautiful not to mention... and they have a city blog!)
- Liberty Lake (pop. 6344) and Port Townsend (pop. 8334) in Washington
- Sitka, Alaska (pop. 8883).