League of American Bicyclists Names Sioux Falls a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community
The League of American Bicyclists has again recognized Sioux Falls with a bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award. The award involves careful review of the City’s application, supplemental material, and consultation with local cyclists. The designation is valid for four years, but the City can apply to be renewed sooner.
“Sioux Falls is looking for ways not only to connect neighborhoods to the main trail system, but also to enhance and expand streets for safe bicycle opportunities,” says Sam Trebilcock, Transportation Planner.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program is transforming the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability, and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle friendliness. There are now more than 400 Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states across America. The bronze award level recognizes Sioux Falls’ commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies.
“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable, and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”
Since 2010, the City of Sioux Falls has invested more than $5 million into off-street bike trails and completed 42.4 miles of on-street bicycle projects.
Bike trail investments include the complete reconstruction of three stretches of the trail: 12th Street to the Great Plains Zoo, Yankton Trail, and Tomar/Spencer Parks (Minnesota Avenue to Cliff Avenue). The key components of these reconstruction projects include wider and smoother trails, better drainage, and improved sightlines.
Other bike trail investments include two new station points near the Sanford Sports Complex and West 49th Street, six bike trail traffic counters, 16 informational kiosks, and six new trail spurs at Dunham, Elmwood Park, Johnny Carino’s, 49th Street, East 41st Street, and Farm Field and Western Avenue.
The City of Sioux Falls averages six miles of on-street bicycle projects each year. Projects in 2017 included:
- Sidepath along Western Avenue near 69th Street
- Sidepath along Veterans Parkway from Maple to Rice Streets
- New sharrows on Bahnson Avenue from 10th to 18th Streets
- Sharrow placement on Lake Lorraine Drive
Major on-street bicycle projects since 2010 include:
- Maple Street Cycle Track from Career Avenue to Valley View Road
- 193 blocks of new, wide sidepaths
- 145 blocks of new bike lanes
- 8 pedestrian underpasses to prepare for future trails
- 160 blocks of sharrow placements
A new trail corridor is scheduled for next spring between Dunham Park and the Big Sioux River dam crossing. This mile of new trail construction will provide a direct connection to the main trail loop between West 12th Street and West 41st Street that will serve the more than 40,000 residents who live west of I-29 in Sioux Falls. This along with other trail projects will grow the off-street paved trail network to 30 miles.
Since its inception, more than 800 communities have applied to be a Bicycle Friendly Community, and the five levels of the award—diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze—provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.
For more information about the bike trail system in Sioux Falls, visit www.siouxfalls.org/bike.