WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In many ways, Wichita Falls is a cycling town.
“We’re known for cycling because of Hotter’N Hell and it’s time that we really kind of show what we’re really all about, year-round,” Bike Wichita Falls Co-Chair Becky Raeke said.
Now the city that’s home to the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation, is becoming that much more bike-friendly.
“I think these emblems highlight that we do have cyclists on our local streets, and it’s a friendly reminder to be on the lookout for those cyclists,” City of Wichita Falls Director of Transportation John Burrus said.
New shared bicyclist lane emblems are beginning to line Call Field Road and Midwestern Parkway and will eventually stretch 18 total miles.
Funding through the 4B board made this project possible, but Burrus said the local Bike Wichita Falls group put in the hard work to get there.
“We would not, and I need to emphasize this, we would not have received a bronze designation without our local bicycle advocacy citizens group,” Burrus said.
Wichita Falls received this designation from the League of American Bicyclists about a year and a half ago, but not without a suggestion though: more bike lanes.
So, Burrus spoke with Bike Wichita Falls leaders on what locations they wanted to start with and got to work.
“During the whole year that everybody was shut down and not doing anything, John was quietly doing all the work and order all the markings and planning things and it’s been a lot of work for him and the city and it makes me feel really good they are still working on that,” Raeke said.
Still working and will continue working!
Burrus hopes to have 10-12 additional miles added to Wichita Falls by September. All with the overall goal of having 100 miles of shared bicycle lanes around the city.
“Telling all drivers out there, get used to this, because you’re going to see more shared emblems on our city streets,” Burrus said.
It all makes cross-city travel easier for a cyclists; whether they’re biking to and from work, or with their family, or for the workout or relaxation.
“Regardless of what it is, we still need to have that protection for them, so I guess that’s the other thing that we are working on, and just making sure to try and spread information about who people are that ride bikes: They’re moms, they’re dads, they’re somebody’s child, they’re business owners,” Raeke said.
Protecting all those on the road, no matter how you’re getting around.
The full 18 miles in this phase will be completed in the next two weeks, which is perfect timing for the start of May, which is Bicycle Safety Month!