On Thursday, the League of American Bicyclists announced Waco received an honorable mention for starting efforts to address the needs of cyclists.
City of Waco Assistant Traffic Engineer Christine Miller said the group will give the city a report card with recommendations that would allow them to improve its bicycle network.
"It's a starting point. Waco has a very basic bicycle network, a lot of disjointed pieces. It would be easy for us to develop this year and reapply next year,” Miller said.
The city also has several projects in the design stages that are expected to be completed by 2022. The plans include adding bike lanes on Elm Avenue and from 11th Street to Gurley Lane. In addition, a 10-foot-wide multi-use path will be built on Ritchie Road.
“It’s all about having the choice and helping everybody with those options. It also allows to increase the ability to have a healthier community,” Miller said.
Waco Bicycle Club President Trent Dougherty helped the city apply for the bicycle friendly community program, which included questions about the existing network, education and enforcement of biking laws.
Dougherty said the honorable mention sends a message to the world about the city.
“Waco is not sitting on its hands. Waco is an aggressive town that is growing and as it grows, it expands opportunities of non-motorized and pedestrian ways to getting around,” Dougherty said.
The city has also been working with the Waco Bicycle Club to start a pilot bike sharing program, which could run in the downtown area and Elm Avenue.
In the fall, the city will have requests for proposal from companies that offer bike sharing services. The RFP will outline the expectations from the program and proposed location.
"One thing that is really important and the Waco Metropolitan Planning organization is giving people a choice so they not only have to drive their cars to a destination. They have a choice to walk or ride their bikes,” Waco Metropolitan Organization Senior Planner Chelsea Phlegar said.
Dougherty looks forward to the proposed initiatives that would make Waco more bike-friendly.
“My greatest hope for the future is to see more people on more bikes and more people into town. The expansion of those opportunities for health, fitness and safety in non-motorized transportation,” Dougherty said.
To view the report card the city received click here.
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