By Matt Werner
Zionsville wants to make official what most town residents already know: Zionsville is a bicycle friendly community.
The town has applied to become a League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community. If named a bicycle friendly community, Zionsville would become one of eight in the state with that designation. According to the LAB website, Indiana ranks 30th in the country in terms of Bicycle Friendly Communities. Indiana communities on the list include Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Goshen, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and South Bend.
According to the LAB website, the program “provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling, and ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness.”
Tim Casady, chairman of the Zionsville Parks Department Pathways Committee, said the committee thought applying for the status was the next logical step in its pathways program.
“We were thinking, ‘You know, we got some things going for us – we have a plan, the Rail Trail, a nice Main Street,’” he said. “All of those things are very bike-friendly assets. We have citizens who love to bike. We felt that to continue the impetus for development of pathways and trails, we should try to achieve that status (of Bicycle Friendly Community).”
Despite the name, Casady said the designation takes into consideration more than just bicycles.
“The League of American Bicyclists really values a complete streets policy where any new street or major work on a street has to be considered from the pedestrian, cyclist perspective as well as auto users,” he said. “That is one area where we are kind of lacking.”
Casady said they have completed the application and will most likely hear the decision in May.
“We don’t know what to expect,” he said. “We are not sure if we will achieve the designation in our first year, but regardless we will get feedback on areas to improve upon and areas that we strive.”