Monday, October 26, 2009
North Little Rock: Bike Friendly Community!!
Photo: Mayor Pat Hays and a new sign for North Little Rock
North Little Rock has been awarded the bronze level of the prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community Award by the League of American Bicyclists. This really is a big deal and is the result of the efforts of a committee consisting of Charlie Hight, Mayor Pat Hays and other members of city government along with several members of the local cycling community.
When NLR Alderman Charlie Hight invited me to sit in on the committee meetings last summer, they had already made substantial progress in the application process. Folks like Tom Ezell, Dr. Rob Lambert, David Holsted, Steve Bentley, and Judy McDowell have all been active locally in promoting various aspects of cycing and were instrumental in this effort. Bud Laumer of the Highway Department added his insight and experience along with city Planning Director Robert Voyles.
The announcement hit the Dem-Gaz on Sunday, but look for more news on this exciting development. I've already seen recognition on the e-newsletter Road Bike Rider and typically Bicycling magazine follows with a feature. NLR is the only city in Arkansas to receive BFC status. Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville have all applied, with LR and Fayetteville getting an honorable mention.Bike Friendly Community status is an indicator of the progressive stance that North Little Rock has taken on quality-of-life issues. BFC cities typically rank above average in education levels, property values and public health. Congratulations to my home town. It makes me proud!