Sanibel receives silver award as a bike friendly community

By Hollie Hojek

Sanibel, Florida – It’s not the best day for a bike ride on Sanibel Island.

It’s a little cold,” said Lee Ann, visiting from Ontario Canada.

“The only reason I consider riding a bike, I probably haven’t ridden a bike in over 30-40 years, is the fact that they have bike paths every where – so you fee secure,” said Lee Ann.

It is that same reputation that earned the city it’s latest national recognition. The rain didn’t damped the city’s celebration of being awarded the “silver status” for bicycle friendly community.

“Terrific!” said Patti Sousa, Sanibel Bike Club.

“Yea, we’re very excited, very honored by it,” said Diane Olsson, Sanibel Bike Club.

Only three cities in the state of Florida hold the title. The city celebrated with opening up a new bike trail.

“I think it shows commitment from the city that we have a healthy lifestyle,” said Sousa.

The prestigious award is 40 years in the making. In the 70s, the city only had 2.5 miles of bike paths. Now there’s over 25 miles of bike paths.

“It feels amazing, obviously to go from bronze to silver in just four years,” said Mayor Kevin Ruane, City of Sanibel.

In 2010, the city was awarded the bronze status. Since then it added four miles of bike trails in four years. And it’s appreciated.

“It’s wonderful to be able to do it on paths separate from the road,” said Olsson.

Mayor Ruane said at any given time, there are more people on the city’s shared bike paths than on it’s road ways, so signage and safety is key to the city’s success.

“It’s the community working together, it’s educating the community and putting those practices in place,” said Ruane.

The Mayor said they won’t stop with silver. This community is going for GOLD!

More information about the Bike Friendly Community program is available at http://bikeleague.org/BFA

Source: NBC

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