Fayetteville recognized as a bicycle-friendly community

Fayetteville last week joined the ranks of 157 other communities when it was designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

Twice each year, the nationwide bicycling organization awards the title to communities that it believes have made great strides in providing safe accommodations for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.

Fayetteville was given a bronze award and joins North Little Rock as one of only two Arkansas cities to receive the status. Conway received an honorable mention this year.

In 2008, Fayetteville applied for designation and was awarded an honorable mention. Matt Mihalevich, Fayetteville trails coordinator, said in a statement that detailed feedback was provided to the group including steps that have been taken over the past two years to elevate Fayetteville to a bronze designation.

Mihalevich said that groups like the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks have played a vital role in the designation through their bicycle education and promotion programs. The BCO hosts all sorts of events including this Wednesday’s Family Bicycle Ride and Free Helmet Giveaway which begins at 5 p.m. at the Wilson Park castle.

“As the city continues to expand the extensive system of trails and on-street bicycle facilities, we expect to receive silver or higher designation in the near future,” said Mihalevich.

According to a press release, city staff plans to promote the achievement by installing signs at key locations around the city.