Bike Walk SWV is an initiative of Active Southern West Virginia, located within the offices of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.
By redeveloping the region’s infrastructure to support active lifestyles, southern West Virginians can improve their health and wellness with more opportunities to get outside and exercise, while increasing economic activity and job creation.
Bike Walk SWV is committed to making walking and biking safe, fun and convenient by advocating for protected bike lanes, safe streets for pedestrians, fitness trails and a network of connected hiking trails.
Getting Started in Mount Hope, WV
Active SWV’s Pedestrian, Bike and Trail Coordinator, Andy Davis, began working through the Americorps VISTA program with the town of Mount Hope in early 2016. Together their focus has been on the development of a connected network of pedestrian infrastructure whereby both the town’s population and visitors may exercise, walk, run, hike and bike in a safe environment. The projects seek to leverage the town’s historical past to attract visitors interested in adventure and cultural tourism. These efforts will create opportunities for the town’s population to become more physically active and, in turn, strengthen the local workforce to serve both the budding tourism industry and new businesses attracted to the region.
Bike/Walk SWV has specifically worked in Mount Hope to develop safe streets for pedestrians, a Complete Streets approach to city development, a designated 1-mile fitness trail and the establishment of a Rails-to-Trails, all in conjunction with the city’s Comprehensive Plan for redevelopment. Mount Hope is the future home of the planned Coal Heritage Museum which will act as a central hub to the city’s trails and active living amenities.
The City of Mount Hope has added the Bike/Walk Mount Hope page to its website with more information about the projects Active SWV Bike/Walk is assisting with!
Active SWV board of directors members and community stakeholders at the site of the future Coal Heritage Discovery Center in Mount Hope.
The following are some announcements and updates from local media outlets covering our activities and projects:
- 2/25/16 – Mount Hope plans trails to tie in with other budding initiatives
- 5/19/16 – Mount Hope plans bike projects in hopes of getting more people active
- 8/11/16 – Mount Hope moves forward with Biking initiatives
- 1/13/17 – Mount Hope Vows to be More Bike-Friendly
League of American Bicyclists – Bicycle Friendly America
Active SWV Bike/Walk uses a variety of guidelines in its facilitation and assistance of bike and pedestrian improvements, including the standards set forth by the League of American Bicyclists. After submitting an application to be officially recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community, Mount Hope, WV received an Honorable mention! In addition to the obvious commendation, the city also received valuable feedback on what further steps can be taken to earn a higher ranking. And most importantly, this feedback will guide Mount Hope towards becoming more bike/walk friendly!
Stepping out in Beckley, WV
Active SWV Bike/Walk is very excited to begin working with the City of Beckley, WV in 2017 as it embarks on becoming more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. As one of West Virginia’s population centers, Beckley has lots of potential for improvements and great ideas!