November 28, 2004
Chandler has joined three other East Valley communities that have been recognized as bicycle-friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists.
Andy Clarke, league executive director, said cities can be recognized at four levels: Bronze, silver, gold and platinum. He said several factors were considered before Chandler was given a bronze designation.
"We ask them about education programs, encouragement activities, evaluation techniques, engineering and planning," he said. "What we have found is that a community that scores well in one or two of those areas, as Chandler did, will be in the bronze category."
Chandler joins Mesa and Gilbert, both bronzes, and Tempe, silver, as bicycle-friendly.
Mike Normand, Chandler transportation services and planning manager, said the city applied for the recognition last spring and officially received its designation in October.
"We’ve been doing a lot of stuff to improve bicycle access, and we wanted to show the citizens that the city was being recognized for the improvements that were being made," he said.
Normand said Chandler adopted a new bicycle plan in 1999 that called for the addition of bike lanes on certain streets, educational programs and the addition of bike lanes wh e n eve r a street wa s improved or widened.
The city also uses programs such bike rodeos conducted by the Chandler Police Department to teach children bicycle safety. Bikes for Tykes, which is handled by Chandler’s Solid Waste Division, is a program in which city employees and volunteers refurbish bicycles that would otherwise go into the landfill. Those bikes are then donated to charitable organizations that give them to families who may not be able to give bikes to their children.
Chandler also has worked on constructing bike paths. The Paseo Project allows bicyclists to use a trail along the Consolidated Canal. Chandler is working on another bike path along the Western Canal in north Chandler, which will connect to paths in Gilbert and Tempe.
The city also is looking at areas where it can provide bicycle and pedestrian bridges across loops 101 and 202.