In February I had a determination to apply for a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) status with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). I contacted the Huntington city planning office, inquiring if they had already applied, and if they might be interested. With their approval, and a great deal of informational support, I was able to complete the application in three days.
The process of gathering the data and answering the questions from LAB was very insightful. For instance, I learned we have preschools with tricycle tracks and bicycle safety days, something rare in our country. A representative in the LAB had not considered preschools as a part of their elementary education questions before my call.
I amassed a list of action steps to pursue in order to assist Huntington in improving its bicycling shares and engaging community awareness. It was very clear right away, we needed an bicycle advisory board (this week the city agrees and we are moving forward to create this).
When I began looking at all the pieces that makeup a BFC, it was uplifting to see where we are headed. Huntington has a lot going for it already. 100% of our buses have bicycle racks on the front, something Pittsburgh fought for years to make happen. I hoped to highlight in our application all the success our town of 40,000+ were able to celebrate.
The LAB agreed. Huntington is doing a great job, but we have a lot of work to do. Here is their feedback package for anyone and everyone to gander. I want to share with this town how much I appreciate the little things (all libraries have bicycle parking), and how much help we need to raise our status in the future. It’s about more than a place in the LAB rankings, it’s about you too.
If you know of something that is not in the application, please let us know. I made as many phone calls as I could, and pulled from news archives and my own memory. I certainly do not know it all (despite what my children may think).
For more in depth reading, check out this 2040 plan from KYOVA.
All of this is coming together to Create Huntington. Thank you all!