Walker Officially Designated As A Bronze Level Bike Friendly Community
The community of Walker has spent more than a decade working on their bike trail system. Their hard work has paid off as the city announced today that the area has officially been designated as a bronze level bike friendly community by the League Of American Bicyclists.
To get designated as bike friendly, a city has to meet a wide variety of criteria including engineering of their trail systems, bike education, bike encouragement and safety enforcement.
“We feel that Walker deserved the recognition just because of our placement here in the state, says Cindy Wannarka, the Leech Lake Area Of Commerce Director. She continues, “We have a unique downtown that offers bike friendly businesses. We had ten businesses that actually applied to become being recognized and being bike friendly, and eight of them did receive a recognition and one of them, actually, a gold, so that’s a huge accomplishment.”
The city of Walker started the application process to become bike friendly two years ago. Officials in Walker say they host more than 200 miles of bike trails.
Jed Shaw, the mayor of Walker, says, “We actually sit on some of the oldest rails to trails system in the state, which I don’t know if you guys what that is, but it’s when you convert the old railroad beds into the trail system so we’ve got, I believe, the oldest one in the state. So we’ve had local volunteers pushing to convert these trails into – or to convert those types of things into trails for years.”
Now that they’re officially bike friendly, the people of Walker are looking forward to a summer filled with trails, wheels and tourists.
“It’s a beautiful ride next to the lakes and we’ve got a great downtown for people to enjoy, and the trails are second to none,” says Shaw.
Walker hopes to move their bronze rating up to silver or gold in the years to come.