Bicycle Friendly Community Application Submitted for Mount Hope, WV

The City of Mount Hope has applied to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community through the League of American Bicyclists. For the past year, the Active Southern West Virginia’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trail coordinator has focused his efforts in Mount Hope 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, to create more opportunities to be physically active for the residents of Mount Hope. These projects will also be aiming to attract more visitors to Mount Hope and grow the economy of Mount Hope by joining nearby communities in attracting outdoor tourism.

Much of the work has focused on making the streets of Mount Hope 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
The layout of Mount Hope inherently lends itself to being bike friendly. With low-speed limits and most traffic diverted to highways 19 and 16, the streets of Mount hope are ideal for pedestrian and bicycle travel. Improvements have been made in the past year to support its vision for increased foot and bike traffic. New bike racks have been installed at some of the city’s frequented locations. A bicycle repair station has been installed downtown 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. The West Virginia Department of Highways installed three new “Share the Road” signs along the entryways of Mount Hope to make vehicle traffic more aware of people on bikes and on afoot.

A bike repair station and three bike racks were installed in Mount Hope in 2016.

Mount Hope is also working to develop an abandoned section of railroad into a multi-use trail. It will offer a picturesque stretch that can be enjoyed on a casual stroll or by adventure seeking mountain bikers accessing the newly built Garden Ground trails along the New River Gorge.

Mount Hope is already home to one of Active Southern West Virginia’s walking groups, led by a trained Community Captain. Through this Bike/Walk program, we want to assure the communities of southern West Virginia are safe and accommodating for pedestrians and cyclists to get out and be active.

Summing up the accomplishments of Mount hope in the Bicycle Friendly community application serves as a benchmark for the work up to this point, but it is by no means a culmination of Active Southern West Virginia’s efforts. If Mount Hope is designated as a Bicycle Friendly community, it will receive national recognition and join a nationwide network of communities also working toward the same goals. This would be very useful in bringing positive attention to the city and further support for the work. If Mount Hope does not receive the designation this year, it will receive valuable feedback from the League of American Bicyclists about further steps that can be taken toward becoming more bike friendly. Currently, Morgantown is the only city recognized by the League of American Bicyclists in West Virginia.

Anyone who would like to learn more about this process or get involved with efforts in Mount Hope or another community can get in touch with the ASWV’s Bike/Walk Coordinator, Andy Davis, by email.

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