Walker Community Plans to Make City More Bike Friendly
The leaders of Walker are off and pedaling towards a more bikeable community.
“Becoming more bikeable helps us become healthier, we become more active and we become safer on the roads using bicycles as a form of transportation,” said Natalie Gille, BikeMN Greater Minnesota Program Manager.
Making a community bikeable is just what it sounds like, by making a clear, safe and effective path for bicyclists in the community.
“Walker is unique with trail systems available to us, not only for our own residents of the Leech Lake area but also for the many, many tourists that come through,” said Brian Marcus, WHA Activities & Community Education Director. “We want to make this a bike-friendly community.”
Many local leaders learned how to identify real world problems in the classroom, and then they hopped on their bikes to get some hands-on experience.
“This is an exciting time to get people to ride bikes and learn some of the rules of the road, and also to identify barriers we may be able to pursue,” Gille said.
The group went on a four-mile bike ride through town and made several stops along the way to take a survey of how comfortable and safe the route actually was.
“There are a lot of passionate people that want to do this; we’ve made some progress over the years with underpasses and a safe way to school,” Marcus said. “We have some things that are in place and we just want to do our best to continue to make it bigger and better for years to come.”
For a community based on tourism and outdoor activities, a focus on a bike-friendly community is a perfect way to shift gears.
“It’s a way to bring communities together – when you come together for a bike ride, it is really fun and engaging,” Gille said.
The leaders now have more knowledge, and the community can count on a future full of bike rides.
“Be safe, be predictable and have fun,” Gille said.