Just Roll With It

9 Feb

To a majority bicycling is stereotyped by the short, tight, spandex wearing health nut that lives, sleeps, and breathes bike riding. However, many do not know that bicycling is becoming more popular everyday. Whether it is in the middle of winter or pouring down rain many communities are motivating residents to ride all year around – including Morgantown.

The Morgantown Municipal Bicycle Board held a meeting on February 4 where they discussed multiple items on the agenda. The board members meet the first Thursday of every month and the main purpose of this board is to work together to make Morgantown bicycle friendly. The Morgantown Bicycle Board commits to improving conditions for bicycling promotion, infrastructure, and education programs. During the meeting many points were discussed. A certain topic that was examined is the Bicycle Friendly Community Application. The Bicycle Friendly Community program encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. Over 500 communities submit an application to be recognized. This is something the board has been working on since August 2015 and the application is 95 percent completed but there are multiple potential projects the board wants to pursue so they can add them to the application.

The BFC application is something a community can submit to get recognition on their efforts to improve biking in their community. A community is also eligible to win awards after submitting the application. Secretary of the board, Drew Gatlin, explained how they are trying to improve the bicycle community. Gatlin stated that they are trying to expand parking ordinances to more buildings throughout the city so bicyclists are able to pull their bikes up to any building and park. There is an ordinance for every type of building in a city. “We would like to expand the parking so they can be accessible to bicyclists,” stated Gatlin. In order to complete the ordinance they must submit a draft, send it to the bike board for a vote, and then send it to the city.

Additionally, the board continues to promote the Morgantown bicycle community by hiring more officers to the West Virginia University Bicycle Patrol Unit. These patrol officers are seen on bicycles at various WVU games and during regular shift hours. Drew Gatlin confirmed that a bike patrol test would be held on May 21 to hire new unit members.

Another project for the BFC application is the Confident City Cycling class the board offers. The class educates new cyclists of their rights on the road and how to avoid crashes. The main objective of the course is to teach people how to ride their bike safely. Anyone is able to take the class in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences (CPASS) building. Drew Gatlin discussed how they are hosting a class that is geared to training more instructors who will then teach the Confident City Cycling classes.

The Morgantown Bicycle Board is also working on getting a page on their website that offers help to local businesses who want to become bicycle friendly certified and the board is also willing to promote the businesses after certification.

Gatlin explained how the BCF application takes a very long time and a large amount of resources from the board. During the meeting, Gatlin questioned if they wanted to continue with the application or if they should try finding alternatives for getting recognition of their efforts.

For more information, you can visit the Morgantown Bicycle Board website.

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