Bikes take center stage this spring
The city of Rosemount wants residents to use its network of trails and facilities for more than recreation. They want residents to use it as way to transport themselves while conducting business in town.
In an effort to promote bicycling as a form of transportation, the city will provide bike racks to businesses and organizations at a reduced cost. A $10,500 grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Program will fund the city's portion of the cost, said city planner Jason Lindahl.
The program is a goal set out in the city's bicycle and pedestrian plan. It is modeled after similar programs in other area cities.
The city will pay for 75 percent of the cost of a bike rack and ask businesses and organization in town to pay 25 percent.
The goal, Lindahl said, is to have the racks in visible areas where they can serve as a reminder that biking is a viable transportation option. The program is open to any business or organization, regardless of location, that wants to participate.
"We want to promote using bikes for shorter trips in town," said Lindahl.
The city still has some details to work out, including creating marketing materials for the program. He hopes to have the program running by spring.
"We hope to roll it out when the weather is warming up and people are excited about riding their bikes and getting outside again," said Lindahl.
Businesses or organizations interested in the program can e-mail Lindahl at Jason.email@example.com or call him at 651-322-2090.
In addition to the bike rack program the city has also applied to be designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclist. Lindahl said the designation would help the city promote bicycle activities in the community and will put the city in a better position for grants.
Applying for the designation is free except for staff time dedicated to filling out the 80-question application. Lindahl said he dedicated a couple of hours to the process.
The Bicycle Friendly Community Program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling.
Several other Minnesota communities have been designated Bicycle Friendly Communities including Minneapolis and Rochester. The cities of Edina and Winona have received honorable mention.
Lindahl said Rosemount will be notified in the spring whether the city will receive the designation. Even if the city isn't recognized, Lindahl said it will be a winning situation because the city will receive comments about its efforts so far.
"We are cautiously optimistic about where the city will fit in," he said. "Either way we will get feedback on how the city could improve what it's doing."
For more information on the League of American Bicyclists visit www.bikeleague.org.