The Town of Normal is pursuing a Bicycle Friendly Community designation. Town leaders believe efforts to create bike paths and routes in the community will already qualify with the town for the lowest designation of Bronze. Town Planner Mercy Davison says the label might help with certain grant applications, but is mainly a quality of life indicator.
"It's interesting to see how many communities that are on best of lists, such as best place to retire, best place to ride out the recession, and best place to raise a family; so many of those communities are also bicycle friendly communities. So it does say something."
Davison says being "Bicycle Friendly" let's people know that a community is planning for bicycles, educating for bicycle safety, and making the transportation infrastructure more accommodating for all modes of transportation. Davison says the Town will add wayfinding information on the Bryan Street Bicycle Corridor. That's the Town's first bike boulevard, so Davison says they want a unified look for the signs that can be used elsewhere.
"We're looking at potential landscaping additions and some changes to the curbs in some areas along Bryan Street just to just alert drivers to the fact that this is a place where they may see more bike traffic than other places in town."
Workers will also paint so called Sharrows on the Bryan Street pavement. Davison says they do not plan to change parking, so there will be a minimal impact on the neighborhood.
The Town, Connect Transit, and the advocacy group Bike Blono will hold a "Light the Night" bicycle light giveaway initiative when the Universities resume classes in the fall to promote bicycle safety. The Town is also planning to conduct an enforcement campaign for bikers and motorists at crosswalks and high traffic areas such as Uptown. Town leaders say both bikers and drivers need to obey the same rules of the road for everyone to be safe. The town will also move forward with a wayfinding system directing people toward bicycle trails and routes. The initiatives are part of this year's priorities involving Normal's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
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