WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After working for more than a year on getting Wichita Falls designated as a bike-friendly community, it has now become a reality.
Wichita Falls is home to one of the largest sanctioned bike rides in the entire US, but over the years cyclists who have visited the city haven’t had many options when it comes to biking from one place to another, that is until now.
“We spent well over a year developing a plan to grow Wichita Falls and there are seven key focal points seven catalysts that are going to help us become a much better city and becoming a bike-friendly city was one of those,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.
The League of American Bicyclists names Wichita Falls a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community to join 488 other cities throughout the nation, which is something co-coordinator of the Bike Friendly Action Committee Becky Raeke said is exciting for the biking community.
“It really goes to show that when you get everybody on the same page as far as the city, the community, all of these players that had a part in it on the same page how much you can get done,” Raeke said.
When everyone is on the same page, Florsheim said this creates a better environment for the community.
“It also means, what’s your daily life like and there are a lot of people out there that would like to commute on their bicycle and driving their car as little as possible and so becoming more bike-friendly to commuters and to families that just want to get out with their kids, its a really important thing,” Florsheim said.
Florsheim said they’re not stopping here.
“We’ll need to be thinking about if we got a new road, are we going to add bike lanes to that road. If there’s a new residential development how can we connect that back to the rest of the population and so there’s still plenty of talk about in terms of becoming more and more bicycle-friendly,” Florsheim said.
“We’ll see a change, we’ll look back five years from now and we’ll see the, you know this was a big part in that everything kind of plays into making our community better and this is just one aspect of it,” Raeke said.
A formal award ceremony will take place during the city council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd in the council chambers at 8:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend.