Beckley Becoming a Bike Friendly Community

The City of Beckley applied to be recognized as a bicycle Friendly community through the League of American bicyclists.

For the past two years, Active Southern West Virginia and the Beckley Bike and Pedestrian Action Committee (BPAC) has focused their efforts in Beckley to make the community more accommodating for bicyclists and pedestrians. The goals of this partnership are in line with the mission of Active Southern West Virginia and the City of Beckley to create more opportunities to be physically active for the residents. These projects will also be aim to attract more visitors to Beckley and grow the economy by joining nearby communities in attracting outdoor tourism.

Much of the work has focused on making the streets of Beckley safer for pedestrians and cyclists by using the guidelines of a bicycle friendly community as described by the League of American Bicyclists. These are summed up within the five E’s of a Bicycle Friendly Community:

  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Encouragement
  • Enforcement
  • Evaluation and Planning

Improvements have been made to support the vision for increased foot and bike traffic. New bike racks have been installed at some of the city’s frequented locations. Bicycle repair stations have been installed for people to use when they need to make repairs or conduct routine maintenance on the bike. It also includes an air pump to inflate tires. New wayfinding signage has been installed around the city, and a Complete Streets policy was passed by the Beckley City Council in July of this year.

Active SWV has been a champion of the mission to bring Complete Streets policies to all the cities and towns in the New River Gorge Region and are proud to have the support of the City of Beckley and other  local municipalities to ensure safety for not only pedestrians and bicycle users but everyone that uses the streets in our communities.

The designation as a Bicycle Friendly community gives the city national recognition and we will join a nationwide network of communities also working toward the same goals. This is very useful in bringing positive attention to the city. Currently Morgantown and Buckhannon are the only other two cities in WV to receive recognition from the League of American Bicyclists.

“The City of Beckley is proud to follow the leadership of Active Southern West Virginia in its ongoing efforts to create an active and healthy workforce now and in years to come”- Mayor Robert Rappold

This growing movement across our region will benefit our communities in a number of ways including increasing recreation opportunities, economic development, and overall health and well-being. Active SWV will continue its efforts to work with cities in the New River Gorge region to help plan and create projects and policies that will increase safety and connectivity for all residents.

Can you be an advocate for Complete Streets and Bike Friendly Communities opportunities in your community? There are many ways that you can support policy change including attending City Council meetings, joining or forming a Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Committee, and writing to local officials/leaders. Contact the Active SWV Volunteer Director, Erin Reid at [email protected] or (304) 254-8488, for more information and strategies on how you can specifically be involved in your local municipality.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Erin Reid at 304-254-8488or email at [email protected]

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